There’s no doubt that smiling makes women look more attractive, but for men, the story is a lot more complicated. Some studies indicate that smiling actually makes men look less attractive. Does this mean that men can get by without an attractive smile? Not really.

A Complex Attraction

Smile Columbia Dentistry Dr. Hahn

A new study looking at whether women find smiling men attractive or not found that the situation is more complex than previously thought. The study involved researchers in Japan, Norway, and Italy, who all showed local women pictures of men who either had smiling or neutral expressions. They found that when women were asked to consider men for short-term relationships, smiling was either not attractive or outright unattractive. But when asked to consider men suitable for long-term relationships, they rated smiling men as being more attractive.

Researchers explained that when women were considering short-term relationships, their primary criterion was for a masculine face, which was accentuated by an unsmiling face. But when women were looking for a partner in a long-term relationship, they were looking for signals of trustworthiness, such as a smile.

Although the sample size of this study is small, it is noteworthy that women at all four sites were roughly in agreement.

So, on the basis of this, you might think that cosmetic dentistry is not a good investment if all you’re looking for is one-night-stands (though you should always keep the jury in mind!). But the story has one more wrinkle.

But Good Teeth Are Always in Demand

Smiling or not, it turns out that women consider good teeth to be the most important characteristic in a man. A survey of over 5000 singles on showed that men and women prioritize good teeth over everything in a prospective mate, including their phone, their clothes, their car, even their grammar!

So, whether you are looking to pick up women for one night or make a lifetime connection, you can bet they’ll be checking out your teeth. And remember, even if you’re not smiling, there are many occasions where your teeth will show, such as talking and eating.

If you are unhappy with the appearance of your smile and want to talk to a Columbia, SC cosmetic dentist about improving it, please call (803) 781-9090 for an appointment at Smile Columbia Dentistry.