Whiter Teeth Predict Who’s Next in the White House

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Whiter Teeth Predict Who’s Next in the White House featured image
Photo Credits: Thinkstock

The Republican and Democratic National Conventions are now complete and the 2012 election is quickly approaching. We’re surrounded by the presidential candidates’ big grins all over the media as we’re asked to choose a candidate to lead our country. But according to a new study sponsored by Luster Premium White, President Obama is in the lead for winning the election based on the whiteness of his teeth at the time of the study.

So how can the sparkle of a candidate’s smile indicate election success? During the study, photos taken of former presidential candidates during their campaign trails were analyzed. The researchers were able to compare the relative whiteness of each candidate’s teeth by adjusting the color of photographs taken over the years to control for changes in ambient lighting and environmental conditions.

Since 1992, photo evidence shows that the whiter smile won the election. In 1992, President Bill Clinton’s pearly whites beat out the less-white smile of President George H.W. Bush. Clinton had a similar victory in 1996 to Bob Dole’s dimmer smile. In the 2000 election, the stakes were much closer. George W. Bush’s smile was only slightly brighter than that of Al Gore, which was reflected in the tight race. Four years later, President Bush’s teeth outshone his opponent Senator John Kerry and he once again won the race.

So what does this mean for 2012?  According to the study, unless Mitt Romney undergoes some whitening treatment, Obama is the one to bet on. Maybe instead of investing in TV commercials, the candidates should put some money where their mouths are and whiten their teeth?

If you are interested in whitening your teeth, consider these options from the American Dental Association, ADA:

In-office bleaching. This procedure is called chairside bleaching and usually requires only one office visit. The dentist will apply either a protective gel to your gums or a rubber shield to protect the oral soft tissues. A bleaching agent is then applied to the teeth, and a special light may be used. Lasers have been used during tooth whitening procedures to enhance the action of the whitening agent.

At-home bleaching. Peroxide-containing whiteners actually bleach the tooth enamel. They typically come in a gel and are placed in a mouthguard. Usage regimens vary. There are potential side effects, such as increased sensitivity or gum irritation. Speak with your dentist if you have any concerns.

Whitening toothpastes. All toothpastes help remove surface stain through the action of mild abrasives. “Whitening” toothpastes in the ADA Seal of Acceptance program have special chemical or polishing agents that provide additional stain removal effectiveness. Unlike bleaches, these ADA Accepted products do not change the color of teeth because they can only remove stains on the surface.

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