Smile for self-confidence?

As many of you probably know, I am working with Donald B. Giddon, DMD, PhD on research during dental school. I plan to work with Dr. Giddon throughout my time at HSDM and will be pursuing the research honors track.  This all sounds very dry, right?  Well, I am thrilled because we will be pursuing answers to questions related to appearance and self-esteem.  We are still in the early phases, but I am constantly asking questions to which I hope to find answers:  How important is the smile to self-esteem and confidence?  Do dentists and medical doctors value smiles differently?  Is the smile the most important marker for attractiveness and/or judging a person's authenticity? 

In a day and age where we are constantly prompted to consider whitening our teeth and are bombarded with images of perfect smiles and bodies, how important is the smile in the overall picture?  Is too much of a good thing a bad thing?  And in the category I personally find most interesting and exciting: How does the smile make people feel about themselves?

I'm excited to ask questions and be my own devil's advocate because I believe it will help me, as well as other future and current dental professionals, understand the role that dental health and a pleasing smile play in the lives of our patients.


Brushing and flossing,



PS: I urge anyone who is thinking about whitening their teeth to consider that healthy teeth are beautiful teeth.  Consider consulting your dental professional first.  I also heard a rumor that flossing makes for a whiter smile... it's worth a shot, right?