Dating site Match.com has released its seventh annual "Singles in America" dating survey, and it’s got a lot to say about what single Americans are looking for in a partner.
The survey, which quizzed singles on everything from their social media habits to who should pick up the check, also inquired about what qualities are important in selecting a partner.
Not surprisingly, teeth ranked high on the list, with 37 percent of respondents saying they judge a first date by their teeth and smile.
Dr. Michele Simpson, a dentist from Wilmington, North Carolina, says these numbers are high, but not surprising
"There have been numerous studies done about the importance of your smile in meeting new people," she says. "In fact, one study by Kelton Global found that 29 percent of people say teeth are the thing they notice first about a person, and 24 percent say teeth are the number one thing they remember about a person after meeting them."
So, what does this mean for people with less than a million-dollar smile? Are they doomed to a life of solitude?
"Of course not!" says Simpson. "It’s all about how you carry yourself. If your teeth aren’t perfect but you’re happy with them, then your other qualities will shine through on a date. But if you are insecure about your teeth or smile, there are so many things you can do to correct that."
Simpson says many adult patients can benefit from Invisalign straightening, which is virtually undetectable and can straighten your teeth in a matter of months. Other options are braces, professional whitening treatments and even porcelain veneers, which can correct the shape, size and color of the natural tooth.
"In this day and age, there’s no reason to feel insecure about your smile," says Simpson. "There are so many treatments out there to correct whatever dental problems you might be having, not just for dating but for your own self-esteem."