Today, networking is an essential activity for businessmen and businesswomen. It is a great way to socialise with people from various industries and exchange ideas. Networking helps businesses to be more exposed, provides support from high profile professionals, as well as provides new opportunities for growth. Naturally, we all want to give positive impressions to people we meet for the first time. We know it is a matter of “a blink of an eye” to form a first impression. It has always been said that “body language is always more important than the words said”. This couldn’t be more relevant whilst being in a networking event.
Apart from the conversation people read the non-verbal cues such as the way we dress, our facial expressions and our smile. Yes, a smile can affect someone’s impression of you either positively or negatively. As much as a good smile creates a great first impression, a bad smile could be detrimental for the relationship we try to build.
From a dental point of view, we can mention two deadly networking sins:
- Not smiling:
Why should we smile? Well smiling makes us more attractive. We try to impress the person we meet, to make the first impression impactful and to portray a sense of confidence. In all cultures a smile means “I am friendly and peaceful”. But the critical question here is: are you confident with your smile? Do you confidently smile and show your teeth or do you try to hide your smile? Not showing the teeth during smiling is not as impressive. It gives an impression of someone trying to hide something.
From a dental perspective a beautiful smile is one where the edges of the front teeth follow the curve of the lower lip. On the contrary, a flat smile line which lies away from the curve of the lower lip is usually associated with aggression and belligerence.
A smile could be enhanced either by short-term orthodontic treatment with ceramic braces or Invisalign clear aligners. This is usually followed by teeth whitening and cosmetic restorations such as ceramic veneers or composite bonding.
- Bad breath:
Bad breath or halitosis is one of the most common reasons why people seek dental care. Not only may it be the cause of significant psychological distress, but it may also ruin one’s personal and business relationships. The incidence of halitosis is much higher than many other medical and dental problems. Poor dental hygiene, gum diseases, and tooth decay are common causes of halitosis. Poorly done restorations or crooked teeth could also be related to bad hygiene and consequently cause bad breath.
Regular visits to the dentist and hygienist is recommended to help in diagnosing the causative factors and plan for treatment accordingly.