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The effect of malocclusion on dating prospects

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Sonia Khela, J Timothy Newton, Huw G Jeremiah

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1465312519888926
JournalJournal of Orthodontics
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 17 Dec 2019

King's Authors


OBJECTIVE: To establish whether the appearance of malocclusion affected dating prospects. The secondary objective was to identify any significant predictors relating to likelihood of dating.

DESIGN: Cross-sectional study.

SETTING: King's College London.

PARTICIPANTS: A total of 232 undergraduate students.

METHODS: Participants were shown images of either one man or one woman. The images had been manipulated using computer software to represent one of three differing dental appearances: post-orthodontic aligned teeth; pre-orthodontic crowded teeth; or pre-orthodontic missing teeth (developmentally absent maxillary lateral incisors). Sealed envelopes were randomly assigned to participants, who rated the individual in the image in relation to: attractiveness; intelligence; happiness; nervousness; and how much they would want to go on a date with them. The response format was a 100-mm visual analogue scale.

RESULTS: The aligned dental appearance received statistically significant higher ratings of attractiveness (P < 0.001), intelligence (P = 0.031), likelihood of dating (P = 0.017) as well as lower ratings of nervousness (P = 0.020). There was no statistically significant difference in relation to happiness (P = 0.43), neither were there any statistically significant differences between the crowded and missing dental appearances. Regression analysis revealed that rated attractiveness was the most significant predictor in relation to likelihood of dating (P < 0.001).

CONCLUSION: Malocclusion did influence dating prospects. Photographs of individuals with aligned teeth were more likely to be rated highly in relation to attractiveness, intelligence and likelihood of dating, when compared with images of malocclusions. The most significant predictor of likelihood of dating was rated attractiveness.

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