Despite its shortcomings, one of the best things to come from this age is body acceptance. Well, mostly. Even as we’ve collectively shifted to better, more loving mindsets towards our appearance, physical insecurities don’t disappear at the drop of a hat. Whether it’s your thighs, or your skin, or your natural muffin top, there’s always something unrealistic beauty standards will make you feel bad about. But there’s one part of your body that can pose a dent on your confidence and self-esteem, particularly in social situations: your teeth. But what exactly is the relation between teeth and self-confidence?
Smiling, for the most part, is supposed to be pleasant. There’s something about a genuine smile that makes you smile, too. And it also has its health benefits as well. Smiling, no matter how fake, is a quick picker-upper, as it releases chemicals that signal your body to feel good. It’s no wonder living with bad teeth puts a big dent on your confidence and self-esteem. They’re such a crucial part of your smile—something that’s supposed to bring joy—to the point that you’d feel self-conscious about it in social situations. Any imperfections on your teeth can then put a blow to your well-being.
There’s a lot of factors that make up your overall dental health. How often you brush your teeth is just one part of the equation. There’s also the way your teeth are aligned, or whether you’ve suffered from tooth loss. Fixing up these problems, don’t just do wonders for your oral hygiene. They also help build up your teeth and self-confidence over time.
But how does this relationship between your teeth and self-confidence work? Let’s find out.
How your teeth ruin your confidence
When you smile, chances are people will remember your teeth the most. As a matter of fact, how one’s teeth look has become the subject of many fashion trends. Crooked teeth, for instance, are seen as a symbol of cuteness in places like Japan. In some cultures, the practice of dying one’s teeth black and filing them reflect a different standard of beauty. And in other cultures still, societies engage in a strategic sort of tooth loss to achieve a certain aesthetic, or to denote one’s status in life.
Conventionally, however, we’re all still enamored with the image of straight pearly whites. Look at any ad—print or otherwise—and you’ll find models flashing bright smiles, edited or otherwise. All teeth are unique in their own way, however. And no matter how many times you brush your teeth, you might be hard-pressed to reach that level of whiteness.
The problem really begins when, on top of these unrealistic standards, your dental health suffers in the process. Whether it’s a bad case of crowding or unavoidable tooth loss, living with bad teeth can give you a sense of helplessness. As if nothing else can be done about it.
Living with bad teeth and what to do about it
Fortunately, all isn’t lost. If teeth and self-confidence are intertwined, the most natural solution is to give your teeth the dental health it needs. Whether it’s getting the needed orthodontic intervention, or regularly going to your 6-month dental appointments, there’s always a way to boost your confidence and self-esteem. So the next time you head to social situations, you can beam a smile without worry.