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How Will Your Child’s Teeth Affect Her Career?

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Think your child’s teeth don’t have anything to do with her future career? Think again! Research by Boston University economists Sherry Glied and Matthew Niedell shows that the quality of a person’s teeth can have a significant impact on his or her potential income (you can read more about the study here). However, dental quality affects the careers of women much more than it does men. Women who grow up drinking fluoridated water make 4% more than the average woman, whereas water fluoridation has no visible impact on men’s income.

This isn’t the first time that physical characteristics have been related to earning potential. Other studies have shown that taller people tend to be more successful, that good looking men are likely to make 5% more over their lifetimes than the average American, and that a similar effect is found in women. Naturally, we can assume that the quality of a person’s teeth play into their general perception as either ugly or beautiful.

However, this study indicates something quite different than these previous studies. Whereas there is little that a person can do to change their height or perceived beauty, there is a great deal you can do to change the condition of your teeth.

Give your child a leg up in life: make sure that she brushes her teeth 2-3 times per day, flosses once daily, and visits a Utah children’s dentist twice a year for x-rays and cleaning. She’ll thank you when she’s making a mint on Wall Street one day.

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