Ask Alexa Economic Advice from

Your “ROI” From Braces

Apr 30, 2014    •    1330 Views

Dear Alexa,

At work, I have become ashamed of my less-than-perfect smile since I am surrounded by colleagues who had the luxury of wearing braces in their youth.  Should I get braces to perfect my smile, even though I am no longer in high school?


Self-Conscious Smile


Dear Self-Conscious Smile,

There are many logical reasons as to why you should book an appointment with your orthodontist.  I believe that one of the most important things in life is to have confidence within yourself, so if you feel as though straightening your teeth will put a spring in your step, go for it!  First, good-looking folks make more money.  According to The Wall Street Journal, attractive people usually earn 3% to 4% more money, which can add up to $230,000 more over a lifetime.  Additionally, according to statistics, pretty people tend to get hired and promoted faster than the average Josephine (or Joe), and they usually hold elite titles in their company.  So, a little “tune-up” today could result in a nice chunk of change in your wallet for countless years to come.

What this all adds up to is a good return on investment (ROI) which also is a way of evaluating the efficiency of a decision. Technically, ROI equals the gain from your investment minus its cost divided by its cost.  Economists generally give people the green light to make a certain investment when the ROI is positive or is better than the alternatives. I predict that getting braces to create a flawless smile will not only make you feel better about yourself, but also bring you financial bonuses that will add up to more money than the cost of the braces themselves.  With that in mind, I have to say, “Full steam ahead!”


PS Ask Alexa sends a H/T to Psychology Today for inspiring this question and to WSJ for facts about success.

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