Online dating receives, at best, mixed reviews from people who try it. (Then again, so does traditional dating!) But one true benefit of the online dating world is the wealth of data it gives us. Online dating is a huge testbed for what works and what doesn’t when it comes to trying to attract the attention of potential partners, and we’ve learned that if there’s one that that works for most people, it’s smiling.

At the Top of the “Most Wanted” List

Good evidence for the importance of a smile comes from a survey of 5500 singles on All singles were asked how they judge their potential dates, as well as various aspects of what they were looking for in a relationship.

For both men and women, “teeth” is the most common area of judgment. For 58% of men and 71% of women, teeth are an essential characteristic that they use to judge a potential date. That’s more than hair, clothes, even grammar, which came second for both sexes.

Smiling can improve your dating profile

Showing Your Teeth Will Make You More Popular

Another dating service delved deeper into the question of figuring out what made some people’s dating profiles more popular than others. Coffee Meets Bagels found that when people were smiling, their profile was more likely to be popular.

Men whose pictures were “liked” more than 50% of the time were smiling with their teeth showing 79% of the time. Of those liked more than 50% of the time, 16% weren’t smiling, and only 5% were smiling with their mouths closed. It seems that women really want to see a man’s teeth before they decide whether they really like him.

Surprisingly women were not quite as tightly held to the smiling standard. Of the women whose profile pictures were liked more than 50% of the time, 58% were showing their teeth, 24% had a closed-mouth smile, 17% weren’t smiling, and 2% were laughing.

Remarkably, comparing these percentages to the survey shows consistency. Where 71% of women said they judge partners on their teeth, 79% of men getting more likes than dislikes were showing their teeth. And with 58% of men saying they judge partners on teeth, 58% of women receiving more likes than dislikes were showing their teeth.

Looking at the data in a slightly different way reveals a similar slant to the data. In the most popular profiles, four out of five men were showing their teeth in a smile, compared to three out of five women.

Why Aren’t You Smiling?

This seems like very solid evidence of the importance of smiling to attracting the attention of potential partners. When you’re trying to attract a partner, whether online or in person, smiling is an essential tool, and you should use it.

But what if you’re unhappy with the appearance of your teeth? Women may be able to get away with a close-mouthed grin, but for men it seems unlikely. Nearly three quarters of women find teeth to be an important standard for a potential date.

Fortunately, there is a solution: cosmetic dentistry can fix almost any complaint you may have about your smile. If your teeth are discolored, try teeth whitening. If your teeth are chipped, poorly shaped, or resistant to whitening, porcelain veneers can help. Crooked teeth can be straightened with orthodontics like Invisalign or even instant orthodontics using veneers. For missing teeth, dental implants are a great choice.

And if you have multiple complaints about your smile, let us design a custom smile makeover for you. To learn more about how cosmetic dentistry can give you a smile that will get attention, please call (408) 354-5600 today for an appointment with San Jose cosmetic dentist Nancy Nehawandian at Top Down Dental in Los Gatos.