The study by Bupa of 2,000 UK employees found that over two thirds (67%) of respondents consider a good smile to be an ‘important asset’ at work.
Just under a quarter (24%) of staff feel that better teeth would give them a greater chance of being promoted.
For over half (54%), a genuine smile from their boss is one of the best forms of motivation and more than two fifths (42%) find people with healthy-looking teeth more authoritative.
Dr Steve Preddy, clinical director of dentistry at Bupa, comments: ‘Our smile plays a large part in the initial visual impression we each create in meetings, interviews, during presentations and so on.
‘An attractive smile suggests confidence, competence and authority, which can enhance career prospects and have a motivating effect on others.
‘Unfortunately, unhealthy-looking teeth, such as those that are over-crowded or spaced, can have the opposite effect.’
Some of the main findings from the study show:
- UK employees worry that unhealthy teeth can damage job prospects, performance at work and the confidence they have in themselves and others
- 37% of people believe that having bad teeth can harm an individual’s employability
- A third (33%) of respondents feel it can hold back a person’s career progress
- 42% of employees have found working with colleagues with bad teeth distracting
- Almost one third (29%) admit that it affects their confidence in a co-worker’s ability to do their job
- More than a quarter (28%) of employees try not to smile at work, as they are not confident about their teeth
- And almost as many (27%) have actually considered getting their teeth fixed to boost their self-confidence at work.
Dr Steve Preddy adds: ‘People are starting to realise the impact that unhealthy looking teeth can have on their professional life, so it comes as no surprise that so many are considering cosmetic dentistry.
‘Clearly UK employees no longer feel they should just grin and bare it when it comes to the perfect working smile.’