A good smile will get you ahead – Rachel PointerFeatured Products Promotional Features
Posted by: The Probe 6th February 2018
Can tooth decay damage your career prospects? Well, that’s what the respondents to a YouGov/BDA survey believe.[i] Nearly 80% of the sample felt that visibly decayed teeth or halitosis would be a barrier to getting hired, with six in 10 thinking that poor oral health would damage any chances they had of promotion.
A CV full of skills and experience is not enough in today’s competitive market. To stand out in a sea of applicants an individual will need to present a strong, capable image that emanates enthusiasm. First impressions matter, particularly if the role is public or client facing. Choosing an appropriate outfit to wear to an interview is important – indeed, 43% of replies to the YouGov/BDA survey named failing to adhere to a dress code as something that would hinder their hopes of securing that dream job.[ii] But that’s almost half the amount of those who think that a missing tooth or bad breath would put prospective employers off hiring them.
Good teeth are integral to how people present themselves if they want to succeed. This applies to outside the workplace too. Recently, over 30% of people surveyed gave discoloured teeth as the reason for not smiling in selfies.[iii] There is much to dislike about today’s selfie culture, but with 17 million being posted on social media in the UK every week, that is a lot of smiles that are not being shared.[iv]
To take it back to a professional environment, if someone is self-conscious about their oral health they are not going to be confident about interacting with people they don’t know and want to impress. In an interview scenario, an open friendly smile is (usually!) reciprocal, an “ice-breaker” that puts everyone at ease. A candidate’s ability to do the job is just one element of the recruitment process; employers want to work with people who will fit in and bring a pleasant, positive energy to the workforce. This simply won’t be possible if they feel embarrassed every time they open their mouth.
What do bad teeth say about a person to a prospective employer? Well, this isn’t merely a cosmetic issue; it is a sign that an individual does not care about the whole package being presented. We all know that misaligned teeth can be expensive to correct but it is poor maintenance that leads to stained teeth, decay and halitosis. So if someone does not care enough to look after their teeth properly or keep their breath fresh, a prospective employer may conclude that they lack self-esteem. Low self-esteem resulting from a poor self-image can contribute to social anxiety. In the most serious cases, social anxiety is severely debilitating and will hold the sufferer back in all areas of their life, interfering with how they form relationships and impairing performance at work.
Sound, basic preventative principles will help people to avoid decay and bad breath, improving their confidence in the work environment. Good habits should start way before people are ready to join the job market. According to Public Health England (PHE), although the number of five year olds presenting with tooth decay has fallen, 24.7% have experienced one or more teeth that were decayed, extracted or filled.[v] Poor oral hygiene at such a tender age can have a devastating impact on self-esteem. Being teased, shyness and a reluctance to participate in activities will blight a child’s school days and give them a self-consciousness about their smile that they will carry with them as they move from education into the world of work. The thought of a young child being too embarrassed to smile or laugh because of bad teeth is a depressing one and practitioners and parents must play their parts in reducing the statistics further.
Improve your patient’s career prospects by promoting thorough cleaning with the right tools as well as regular appointments. A mouth that is clean, fresh and healthy will give them a confidence boost that lasts between visits to the dentist. Tandex offers a full range of high-quality products, including interdental brushes and mouth washes to help them maintain the best standard of oral hygiene they can.
If someone is too embarrassed to make eye contact, speak freely or smile because of the state of their mouth, this could cost them the dream job as well as the chance to forge new relationships. A friendly, open smile is essentially a business card, the image that someone presents to the world. If people want to succeed in life, they must take care of their oral hygiene. A clean and healthy mouth will make a person feel good about themself and boost confidence in all areas: bad teeth should not hold anyone back.
For more information on Tandex’s range of products,
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[i] Why bad teeth can mean bad prospects. BDA Connect, 22 June, 2016. Found at: https://bdaconnect.bda.org/why-bad-teeth-can-mean-bad-prospects/ (accessed 29 June 2016)
[ii] Why bad teeth can mean bad prospects. BDA Connect, 22 June, 2016. Found at: https://bdaconnect.bda.org/why-bad-teeth-can-mean-bad-prospects/ (accessed 29 June 2016)
[iii] Grin and don’t bare it: Could poor oral health be stopping us from showing our teeth in selfies? Oral Health Foundation, 18 May 2016. Found at: https://www.dentalhealth.org/news/details/919 (accessed 29 June 2016)
[iv] Grin and don’t bare it: Could poor oral health be stopping us from showing our teeth in selfies? Oral Health Foundation, 18 May 2016. Found at: https://www.dentalhealth.org/news/details/919 (accessed 29 June 2016)
[v] National Dental Epidemiology Programme for England: oral health survey of five-year-old children 2015. Public Health England, May 2016. Found at: http://www.nwph.net/dentalhealth/survey-results%205(14_15).aspx (accessed 29 June 2016)
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