Influence of teeth on the smile and physical attractiveness. A new internet based assessing method


Objectives: Traditional methods for evaluating aesthetic perceptions of the teeth have involved panels of people observing photographs, and the person commenting on the appearance of the teeth generally is aware that his opinion of the dental appearance is being sought. The situation is artificial and may involve bias. We propose a novel method for evaluating the effect of dental imperfections on perceptions in which the participant is unaware of participating in a survey and in which his or her opinion is not sought. Rather, involvement in the study betrays the importance of dental aesthetics for the observer. Methods: Starting with a digitally manipulated photograph of a smiling young woman, two portrait photographs A and B were produced in which the only differences were in the dentition revealed by the smile. The two photographs were anonymously posted on an online dating service site covering two large cities in southwestern France. During a period of one month, all “hits” on each of the photographs and all attempts to make contact were counted. Results: There was no significant difference between the number of hits on each of the portraits A and B. On the other hand, the ratio of attempts to contact to hits showed a clear difference: the ratio was 4.8 times greater for Portrait A than for Portrait B (p < 0.001). Conclusions: Digital manipulation of a photograph and internet dating sites provide an alternative to traditional questionnaires for evaluation of the contribution of dental factors to a person’s physical attractiveness.

Share and Cite:

Lopez, Y. , Rouzic, J. , Bertaud, V. , Pérard, M. , Clerc, J. and Vulcain, J. (2013) Influence of teeth on the smile and physical attractiveness. A new internet based assessing method. Open Journal of Stomatology, 3, 52-57. doi: 10.4236/ojst.2013.31010.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


[1] Dion, K.K., Berscheld, E. and Walster, E. (1972) What is beautiful is good. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 24, 285-290. doi:10.1037/h0033731
[2] Eagly, A.H., Ashmore, R.D., Makhijani, M.G. and Longo, L.C. (1991) What is beautiful is good, but...: A meta-analytic review of the research on the physical attractiveness stereotype. Psychological Bulletin, 110, 109-128.
[3] Feingold, A. (1992) Good looking people are not what we think. Psychological Bulletin, 111, 304-341. doi:10.1037/0033-2909.111.2.304
[4] Jackson, L.A., Hunter, J.E. and Hodge, C.N. (1995) Physical attractiveness and intellectual competence: A meta-analytic review. Social psychology quarterly, 58, 108-122. doi:10.2307/2787149
[5] Beall, A.E. (2007) Can a new smile make you look more intelligent and successful? Dental Clinics of North America, 51, 289-297. doi:10.1016/j.cden.2007.02.002
[6] Berry, D.S. and Miller, K.M. (2001) When boy meets girl: Attractiveness and the five-factor model in opposite-sex interactions. Journal of Research in Personality, 35, 62-77. doi:10.1006/jrpe.2000.2304
[7] Trivers, R. (1985) Social evolution. Benjamin/Cummings, Menlo Park.
[8] Frieze, I.H., Olson, J.E. and Russell, J. (1991) Attractiveness and income for men and women in management. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 21, 1039-1057. doi:10.1111/j.1559-1816.1991.tb00458.x
[9] Langlois, J.H., Kalakanis, L., Rubenstein, A.J., Larson, A., Hallam, M. and Smoot, M. (2000) Maxims or myths of beauty? A meta-analytic and theoretical review. Psychological Bulletin, 126, 390-423. doi:10.1037/0033-2909.126.3.390
[10] Shaw, W.C. (1981) The influence of children’s dentofacial appearance on their social attractiveness as judged by peers and lay adults. American Journal of Orthodontics, 79, 399-415. doi:10.1016/0002-9416(81)90382-1
[11] Fonte, P.P., Colares, V., Santos, F. and Caraciolo, G. (2008) The social impact of children’s dentofacial appearance. European Archives of Paediatric Dentistry, 9, 84-89. doi:10.1007/BF03262615
[12] Mandall, N.A., McCord, J.F., Blinkhorn, A.S., Worthington, H.V. and O’Brien, K.D. (1999) Perceived aesthetic impact of malocclusion and oral self-perceptions in 14- to 15-year-old Asian and Caucasian children in greater Manchester. European Journal of Orthodontics, 21, 175-183.
[13] Al-Sarheed, M., Bedi, R. and Hunt, N.P. (2003) Orthodontic treatment need and self-perception of 11 - 16-year- old Saudi Arabian children with a sensory impairment attending special schools. Journal of Orthodontics, 30, 39- 44. doi:10.1093/ortho/30.1.39
[14] O’Brien, C., Benson, P.E. and Marshman, Z. (2007) Evaluation of a quality of life measure for children with malocclusion. Journal of Orthodontics, 34, 185-193.
[15] Grzywacz, I. (2003) The value of the aesthetic component of the index of orthodontic treatment need in the assessment of subjective orthodontic treatment need. European Journal of Orthodontics, 25, 57-63. doi:10.1093/ejo/25.1.57
[16] Paris, J.C. and Faucher, A.J. (2003) Le guide esthétique. Comment réussir le sourire de vos patients. [Guide to aesthetics. How to succeed with your patient’s smile]. Quintessence International Publishing, Paris.
[17] Fradeani, M. (2006) Réhabilitation esthétique en prothèse fixée. Tome 1: Analyse esthétique. [Aesthetic rehabilitation with fixed prostheses. Volume 1. Aesthetic analysis]. Quintessence International Publishing, Paris.
[18] Kocoglu, D., Martial, F., Roosz, P. and Tronyo, J. (2011) Tableaux de l’économie Francaise [Tables of the French economy]. INSEE, Edition 2011, p. 17. Last accessed 11/06/2011
[19] De Deus Tupinamba Rodrigues, C., Magnani, R., Salete Candido Machado, M. and Oliveira, O.B. (2009) The perception of smile attractiveness. Angle Orthodontist, 79, 634-639. doi:10.2319/030508-131.1
[20] Nathus, S.A. and Nevid, J.S. (2003) Physical attractiveness in Psychology and the challenges of life adjustment in the new millennium. John Wiley & Sons, New York.
[21] Van der Geld, P., Ooterveld, P., Van Heck, G. and Kuijpers-Jagtman, A.M. (2007) Smile attractiveness. Angle Orthodontist, 77, 759-765. doi:10.2319/082606-349
[22] Tirlet, G. (2004) La demande esthétique actuelle en odontologie. [Current demand for aesthetics in dentistry]. Information Dentaire, 86, 1943-1948.

Copyright © 2024 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.

Creative Commons License

This work and the related PDF file are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.