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Election Day: How presidential candidates compare on smiles

Ready to vote? This is an exciting week in presidential politics as voters go to the polls to pick the nation’s next leader. But before the votes are cast, we thought we’d give you the ‘straight’ scoop on how the candidates fare in the dental world.

You may think there are a lot of crooked things about politics in this country. But there’s one thing that’s not crooked: The teeth of most major candidates. Take a look at this presidential election, for example. We’ve got two candidates whose smiles are so white that they could blind you in the wrong lighting.

Granted, there are lots of reasons why people could vote for a particular candidate. If you’re basing your vote on which candidate was born closest to the international dateline, your decision is easy. (Obama was born in Hawaii;  Romney in Michigan.) If you’re voting for whichever candidate has smoked the fewest cigarettes in his life, it’s also easy. (As a practicing Mormon, Romney has presumably never smoked whereas Obama is a recovering smoker).

But if you want to base your vote on how straight their teeth are, you’re going to have a hard time. And you’re probably going to need to persuade the secret service to let you take some measurements inside their mouths with some fine-tuned equipment.

baracksmile-206x300    mittsmile-241x300


Clear back in a 2008 survey of dentists, just over 50% of dentists said they thought Romney had better teeth than any other presidential candidate. Of course, he was also the favorite candidate of the dentists. Female dentists preferred Hillary Clinton’s teeth to Romney’s 3-to-1. So it seems that many dentists’ stated preference for a candidates’ teeth might have to do with something other than their smile.

Next time you look at President Obama or Mitt Romney on TV, take a minute to marvel at just how picture-perfect their teeth are. Those smiles have taken them a long way. Just think about what a smile like that could do for you.

OK, we’re not saying that if you have straight teeth, you’ll be a presidential nominee someday. But it certainly couldn’t hurt your chances.