A smile is the key to instant attraction, says new research from leading UK cosmetic dentist

A beaming smile is the standout feature most likely to attract a potential partner and boost our love life, according to new research from a leading UK cosmetic dentist.

Over half (53%) said a nice smile most appeals to them when eyeing up a potential partner.

The second most attractive feature is the eyes (41%). Third is overall fitness and physique (10%), followed by height (8%) and fashion sense (7%). Finally, hairstyle is the least important feature for a potential suitor, proving to be important for just 5% of people.

Dr Affan Saghir, clinical director and lead dentist at Space Dental, a luxury cosmetic dental clinic in Wakefield, says that a nice smile is fundamental for self-esteem and can be an essential factor for better mental health.

Dr Affan is internationally renowned as an expert in minimally invasive smile makeovers. His lecturing on the topic has taken him across the globe, from Japan to the USA. He has previously been the Chairman of the British Dental Association for West Yorkshire section.


Commenting on the research, Dr Affan said: “A nice smile and healthy teeth can be the deciding factor in helping to attract the attention of a potential partner. So looking after our teeth is important as part of our overall health and well-being, and our research shows, it’s also a key factor for relationships.

“Not only is a nice smile good news for our love lives, but good dental health is crucial for mental health. When dental health suffers, so does the quality of life, which can result in deteriorating mental health. For example, feelings of embarrassment or being self-conscious about the health of your teeth can trigger considerable social anxiety. It may even lead to withdrawal from certain situations or hurt your self-esteem. It can lead to an increase in some mental health symptoms. I see the negative effects of bad teeth and poor dental health on a person’s mental health every day in my clinic.”


Dr Affan outlines several psychological reasons why a nice smile is important for maintaining positive mental health and boosting the chances of finding love.

  • Confidence: A nice smile can boost confidence, self-esteem, and self-image. When people are happy with their smiles, they are more likely to feel good about themselves and feel confident in social situations.
  • Social interaction: Good dental health can improve a person’s communication ability, which can improve their social interactions.
  • Emotional well-being: Oral health problems such as toothache, gum disease, or bad breath can cause pain, discomfort, and embarrassment, negatively impacting a person’s emotional well-being. Good dental health can help prevent these problems and improve a person’s overall emotional state.
  • Physical health: Poor dental health has been linked to various physical health problems, such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and respiratory infections. When people take good care of their teeth and gums, they are more likely to maintain good overall physical health, which can contribute to a better mental state.


Dr Affan added: “A nice smile and good dental health can improve confidence, social interactions, emotional well-being, and physical health, all of which can positively impact mental health and relationships.”


Space Dental is a leading cosmetic dental practice, providing teeth straightening, composite bonding and dental implants. The practice is headed up by Dr Affan and business director, Samuel Dyson. It has grown quickly to a team of 40, with eight dentists and four hygienists.


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