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Smile May Be Secret To Attractiveness as We Age, AACD Survey Says

April 6, 2015 by AACD Executive Office

Generations Reveal Attitudes on Impact of Aging on Beauty

Eyes may be the window to the soul, but a smile can withstand the test of time, according to a new survey conducted by Kelton on behalf of the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. The research concluded that a smile is the one feature that will always remain the most attractive no matter how old we get.
 
Nearly half (45%) think a person’s smile can defy aging’s effects while eyes come in a distant second (34%). In comparison, fewer adults find the following features likely to age well:
  • Body shape (10%)
  • Hair (6%)
  • Legs (5%)
Perhaps speaking from experience, 54 percent of the U.S. population 50+ can attest that a smile is the feature that can overcome decades of birthdays most attractively. This is far more than 39 percent of younger counterparts who feel the same.
 
The American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry conducted the survey in recognition of Healthy Aging Month which takes place in September. Kelton polled 1,018 American adults ages 18 and over questioning them about their attitudes related to aging and beauty.

Smile Improvements Win Over Weight Loss

An overwhelming majority (80%) of adults admit they would spend money to hide or correct aging flaws. Women are more likely than men (84% vs. 75%) to invest in improvements and, surprisingly, these women would pay to fix their teeth before they would pay for weight loss help (63% vs. 49%).
 
Among respondents willing to invest in fixing their flaws, more than three in five (62%) of them would spend their money to maintain the quality of their teeth – far more than those who would address excess weight (48%), thinning hair (33%), or dark under-eye circles (33%). Other aging imperfections such as wrinkles (31%) and spider veins on their legs (28%) are more likely to be ignored than their teeth.
 
And since many believe turning 30 brings plenty to dread, it’s no surprise that people ages 30-39 are more likely than other age groups combined (88% vs. 78%) to spend their discretionary income on their looks. More adults ages 18-49 than their 50+ counterparts would invest in maintaining a youthful appearance, especially when it comes to thinning hair (38% vs. 23%) and wrinkles (34% vs. 26%).
 
“The fact is, we are living in a time when it is possible to turn back the clock and improve some of the physical impacts of aging,” said Dr. Ron Goodlin, AACD president. “With that, we find that our dental patients, both men and women of all ages, see a major improvement in their confidence levels which impacts every part of their lives.”
 
About the Survey
The AACD Smile Survey was conducted by Kelton between August 17 and August 23, 2012 and reached 1,018 nationally representative Americans ages 18 and over, using an email invitation and an online survey. Margin of error = 3.1 percent.
 


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