The Halo Effect

A genuine smile can make your day whether it is from your child or a stranger across the room, smile are important. A great smile can help you land a new job, close a deal or get the partner of your dreams.


Back in 1920 researcher Edward Thorndike coined the phrase "halo effect" to describe the phenomenon of when people attribute one positive quality to you, they tend to attribute many more. The halo effect has been researched in many ways over the years, with much of the research focusing on physical attributes and how people perceived to have such attributes are believed to be smarter, more successful, happier and better spouses and parents.

And which attribute has been singled out as especially important in making these judgments? A beautiful smile. -Inc Magazine

A beautiful smile that is broad and straight and bright is equivocated to health, wealth, success, confidence and of course HAPPINESS! Dale Carnegie pointed to this, saying "the expression one wears on one's face is far more important than the clothes one wears on one's back."

So if a great genuine smile causes a cascade of positivity to your self-image, what constitutes a great smile? The top factors are:

  1. Authentic- broad, deep and real

  2. Color- bright and uniform in color

  3. Balanced- maybe not perfectly straight but balanced and broad

So if you are looking to improve your ‘halo effect’ here are some ideas for you:

Clean healthy teeth are of course the most important. I know I am a dentist, but actually see if your teeth are dirty AND they can smell your breath and see inflammation in your gums. Having a clean mouth shows that you are hygienic and value your health and vitality.

Aside from a clean mouth a brighter more uniform smile is a huge bonus. Make sure you don’t have unsightly dental work that sticks out like a sore thumb. If you do have some dental work that you can see in the smile zone consider replacing it. There are many great cosmetic dentists on the that can help you. When consulting with your dentist, discuss with them replacing your restorations and brightening your overall smile. If you have restorations to replace you will want to whiten your teeth prior to the new restoration insertion so that you can brighten your overall smile and have the new restoration match.

I typically have my patients whiten for two weeks with a variety of different methods and then take the final shade a couple days later. I never take the final shade after a session of one hour whitening because once the teeth rehydrate the shade changes.

If uniformity and color are not an issue but straightness and broadness are, consider doing some orthodontic treatment to straighten your teeth. I use Invisalign on so many patients of mine and their are so many different types of Invisalign you could do as little as 5/10 or 14 weeks to get your teeth back in shape.

I know many people neglect their smiles because it is uncomfortable either physically and or financially or both, but your smile is your trademark. Don’t you want your ‘trademark’ to leave a cascade of positivity to those you meet?

beauty, What's newSarah Jebreil