Dating Tips from an Orthodontist

A woman wearing adult braces and smiling after listening to these dating tips from an orthodontist.

First dates. They’re full of anticipation. Maybe some nerves. Maybe you’re where will this go? There are still so many unknowns ahead, but everything starts with that first impression. You may spend time picking your outfit out or fixing your hair; whatever little things make you feel confident. But what’s the first thing people usually notice about you? What exudes confidence more than any accessory or hair style?

Your smile!

On a date, in an interview, passing a stranger on the street. Your bright happy smile conveys warmth, friendliness, and puts people at ease. It tells your date you’re ready to get to know them

As an orthodontist (a specialized dentist who straightens teeth), I treat lots of adults who are in the dating game. They’re also interested in a confident smile for professional reasons and big life events, but the primary concern I hear when it comes to their smile is self-confidence. And this makes a lot of sense.

A research study conducted by the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry suggests that nearly half (48%) of adults believe that one’s smile is the most memorable thing about them after a single meeting. What’s more, is that 25% of those surveyed indicated that people with crooked teeth appeared less confident than people with straight teeth. The conclusion is clear, people are paying attention to those pearly whites. 

So how are orthodontic care and dating related? Well, it comes down to confidence. Having a beautiful smile can make you feel proud and improve your self image. Your confidence in social situations can be impacted. Remember that study I mentioned above? Half of adults believe that the smile is the most memorable feature after you meet someone.

Growing evidence has shown that oral health-related quality of life (OHRQoL) often improves after orthodontic treatment. This makes sense, given that correcting dental issues that can cause insecurity leads to increased self confidence. While the clinical exploration of the psychological aspect of orthodontic treatment is less discussed, patients have long been reporting greater confidence and self esteem after having their teeth straightened.

Greeting your date with a straight and confident smile is freeing. That confidence will carry right into your dating life.

In today’s world of social media and dating apps we only have a few seconds to make an impression. We’re swiping through photos and making quick decisions about who sparks our interest, without knowing if there’s chemistry or connection. This is probably why more than half of young people age 18-24 consider virtual interactions, including photos and video chatting, to be an extremely important part of dating.

So, your photos are being used to decide if someone wants to meet you or not. What may catch their attention? This is where an attractive, confident smile is important.

Oral hygiene is an integral part of a healthy smile. Keeping teeth clean through habits and healthy through diet, along with seeing a dentist regularly to monitor gum health, all make for bright teeth you’ll to show off.

Your teeth can be white and bright for days, but to feel totally confident with that smile, you want it straight. Crooked teeth or an incorrect bite may stop you from smiling. And what have we learned about your smile? It conveys confidence, warmth and leaves a first impression. So make it a good one!

If your smile isn’t what you wish it were, schedule a consultation with an orthodontist. Learn about your options. It’s not your mother’s treatment anymore. There are so many ways to straighten your teeth. Some are completely discreet. Some are removable. If you had braces as a teen, and it’s been a decade (or two) you’ll be amazed at the advances in technology.

It is never too late to seek the smile you’ve always wanted. Adult orthodontics are on the rise as more people believe investing in their oral health and their smile are worthwhile investments.

Dating is much more fun when you can feel confident meeting and getting to know new people. Give yourself the gift of a good first impression. Invest in a healthy, confident smile… you deserve it!


Interested in improving your smile? Find out where you can start adult orthodontics.

Rooz Khosravi

Dr. Rooz Khosravi practices at Porth, a modern orthodontic clinic in Sammamish, WA. One of his clinical interests is to move teeth using clear aligners, which he fabricates in his clinic using 3D printing technology. Additionally, Dr. Rooz is an assistant professor at the University of Washington, where he conducts research studies and teaches orthodontics. He met his wife Elly—a New England native—in Boston. They relocated to the PNW and decided to stay and raise their son, Milo Kalhor.

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