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Percept Mot Skills. 2003 Feb;96(1):43-8.

Tooth color: effects on judgments of attractiveness and age.

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Department of Psychology, Beloit College, WI 53511, USA.


Tooth whitening has become a very popular procedure. Advertisements for whitening products imply that whiter teeth are more attractive than yellower teeth. We tested this idea empirically by manipulating the tooth color of pictures of male and female targets. Participants' ratings of attractiveness were not influenced by tooth color. Exp. 2 yielded a negative correlation between attractiveness and age ratings: targets judged to be older were rated as less attractive. Unless whiter teeth help in some other way, e.g., improved self-esteem or confidence, it seems that tooth whitening procedures or products are not associated with increased attractiveness to others.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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