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Crooked Teeth and Eye Tracking

Question:

I had really crooked teeth and an overbite that affected my level of self-confidence. As a manager of a local retail store, I noticed people would stare at my mouth when they would come in to shop. I think they were noticing how crooked my smile appeared. Now that I have completed orthodontic treatment, and have a beautiful smile, the staring has stopped. Am I just imagining this or is my perception true?

Answer:

A recent study says your perception is accurate. This study used “eye tracking,” another name for the measurement of how long someone’s eyes focus on something to verify your perception. Pictures of patients with really crooked teeth held a lay person’s attention or eye focus longer than those with less crooked smiles. The study showed that people tend to stare at the mouth of a person with crooked teeth and are more likely to remember that person by the look of their mouth than any other physical attribute.