Potential mates drawn to smiles over bank account size finds Delta Dental survey

But poor oral hygiene can cause a relationship hiatus


OAK BROOK, Ill., Aug. 16, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Poor hygiene and not brushing teeth twice a day are leading causes for quitting a relationship, according to the Adult's Oral Health & Well-Being Survey. Not surprising, since around half (47 percent) of Americans believe a person's smile is their sexiest feature, with women more likely than men (51 percent versus 42 percent) to say so. In fact, the Delta Dental survey demonstrates the significant power of a smile, with most adults (56 percent) disclosing smiles are more of a turn-on than a person's bank account size.

For a second year, dentists top list of health practitioners Americans do not see as often as they would like

Make or break first impressions

Do smiles play a starring role during National Romance Awareness Month in August? Most adults (70 percent) say a smile can make or break a first impression, with 65 percent sharing that a smile is one of the things they remember most after meeting someone.

So, could oral health potentially rally or ruin a relationship? Most Americans agree (73 percent) poor oral health is a major turn-off, with 62 percent of adults (69 percent women versus 55 percent men) saying they wouldn't kiss someone with poor oral health.

"Take note America, the recommendation of brushing teeth twice a day for two minutes is critical to oral health and overall health, but this guideline also appears to have a significant impact on relationships," said Jennifer Elliott, chief marketing officer for Delta Dental Plans Association. "Surveyed adults confide that not brushing teeth as often as they should was more of a relationship deal breaker than not paying for dates and being late."

Adults admit they are more likely to be attracted to someone who not only smiles often (69 percent) but also has a smile that is attractive and healthy looking (69 percent).

Some things NOT to share

The Delta Dental survey also notes that consistently using a toothbrush or toothpaste without permission are top causes for ending a relationship.

Joe Dill, DDS, MBA, Delta Dental Plans Association's vice president of dental science, reminds us that there are health implications with sharing these personal oral hygiene tools.

"We have a tendency to share when we care, but toothbrushes and toothpaste dispensers should be exceptions," Dr. Dill said. "Our oral hygiene tools can be a breeding ground for germs and bacteria."