Dental Tribune UK & Ireland

British adults feel self-conscious about their smile, reveals recent survey

LONDON, UK: The parameters for what is considered a healthy smile have seemingly become narrower over the years. In a recent survey, the Oral Health Foundation has found that half of British adults are often made to feel anxious about how their smile looks. Television and social media have the biggest influence, causing almost 31 per cent of people to feel inadequate.

“In the media and online, pearly white and straight teeth have become the norm for how our teeth need to look. This should not be the case. Most celebrities we see on television undergo routine cosmetic treatments on their smile, while filters on social media can make teeth appear whiter than they actually are,” explained Dr Nigel Carter, OBE, Chief Executive of the Oral Health Foundation.

“It all promotes unrealistic expectations of what a healthy smile looks like and it is clearly having a negative effect on how confident we are when it comes to showing ours off. A smile represents feelings of happiness and joy. This is something to be cherished, and not be made to feel anxious about,” he continued.

Other areas of the survey found that nearly 87 per cent of those under 35 have been made to feel self-conscious about their smile and that members of this age group are more than twice as likely to be influenced by celebrities and television personalities. Further results showed that nearly 17 per cent of people have received negative comments from family members about how their smile looks and that 10 per cent have been subjected to unkind remarks about their teeth from strangers.

During the Oral Health Foundation’s National Smile Month, which runs from 13 May to 13 June, people are encouraged to show off their smiles and reclaim their self-confidence.

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