Research shows as many as 30 percent of adults are not happy with their smiles. However, it’s not just a case of measuring up to the pearly whites relentlessly flashed across our screens in advertisements, movies, and tv shows that make us feel insecure and depressed. Teeth age just like the rest of our bodies and are subject to wear and tear which can be noticeable. Rather than being able to accept our teeth as they are, we tend to lack confidence in them. Poor dental hygiene is of course another reason to be unhappy with our smiles. Teeth need rigorous daily care and regular maintenance in order to reward us with a whiter smile. However, many people are guilty of neglecting them altogether. Instead of losing sleep over your teeth or your smile, understand that your teeth and smile are part of what make you unique.
How Do Your Teeth Affect Your Confidence?
Teeth are oftentimes a focal point of a person, as they are one of the first things we see when we meet someone. Whether it is done consciously or subconsciously, we tend to judge people’s character based on their teeth. In today’s society, we have become so conditioned to judging people by shallow standards. People with misaligned teeth or poor dental hygiene are judged to be leading an unhealthy lifestyle or being dirty. Sadly, these judgements lay the foundation for others. Once we find what we perceive is a fault in a person, our default is to look for more defects of character. It is common for people to associate bad teeth with bad breath, only to find ourselves taking a step back when we see them.
The overall condition of our teeth can lead to mental health issues. This is especially true for people who are desperate to measure up to societal expectations in order to fit in and be accepted. In this case, having perfect teeth can become an obsession. Falling short of what we perceive are the standards to achieve – brilliant white, even teeth – can lead to depression, anxiety, and long-term low self-esteem.
Teens and Younger Adults
Most young adults are already obsessed with and feel torn about other parts of their bodies. Therefore, not having a perfect set of teeth and a dazzling smile compounds the already negative body image they have of themselves. Whether it’s their hair or height, all young adults tend to be dissatisfied with something. Crooked teeth or misaligned bites, add injury to self-perceived insult. Even corrective devices such as wires and braces can have young adults and teens psychologically retreating in their shells for the duration. In summary, it could be said that teeth can contribute to “ugly duckling” feelings and a poor self-image.
Regardless of how old we are, we all want to have a healthy physique, hair fit for the big screen, and a photogenic smile. As we age, we might hang onto our self-resentments but subordinate them to other, more pressing matters. We try to age with grace and dignity and accept ourselves as we are. However, age brings another set of psychological hang-ups.
Older folks have to deal with losing teeth and having dentures or crowns. Not only are these circumstances concrete evidence of aging, but we become increasingly aware of our mortality when looking at our teeth in the mirror. In addition, there is the fear of dentures falling out in public which would be embarrassing. Then, there is also the matter of tooth discoloration. No matter how good our dental hygiene is, everyone’s teeth will turn yellow as they age. Consequently, older folks feel psychologically vulnerable about their teeth and smile.
As a result of low self-esteem and feeling vulnerable, it is common for people to consciously or subconsciously cover their mouths when they talk and smile. We tend to not look directly at people when we speak to them, and turn our heads away when we smile. These actions make communicating less effective and perceivably less sincere, as they are negative body language gestures. This can be a distressing cycle for people of all ages. The more we compensate, the worse we feel, and the worse we feel the more we do it, young and old.
Additional Information: 5 Tips To Improve Your Confidence And Your Smile
All Smiles Family Dentistry in Omaha, NE
At All Smiles Family Dentistry, we are proud to provide high-quality care to all our patients both young and old thanks to our compassionate and experienced dental team. We offer a clean and comfortable clinic to help you feel relaxed during your visit. Contact All Smiles Family Dentist.