Do you ever catch yourself covering your teeth when you smile or laugh? You’re not alone. Almost everyone has something that they are a little insecure about – body hair, weight, skin blemishes, big ears, etc. Everyone deserves to have the confidence that comes from feeling good about their appearance. And that doesn’t mean trying to achieve some unrealistic, air-brushed, standard. It’s just about feeling comfortable in your own skin. Here are the top 5 reasons why people choose to straighten their teeth, in no particular order:
- Oral Health
Did you know that misaligned teeth are harder to keep clean and therefore more likely to develop cavities and gingivitis? In severe cases, misaligned teeth do not contact the opposing teeth evenly which can result in the premature wear of the teeth.
- A Big Event
A wedding. A college graduation. A high school reunion. A big overseas vacation. There are certain events in our lives that we will remember forever – if for no other reason than that we typically take a lot of photos during these events. It’s only natural to want to be at your best for a big life event like this. Your smile is the first thing people are going to notice in those photos.
You may be totally comfortable with your appearance. But what if your professional opportunities are limited because of the way others perceive you based on your appearance? Do clients perceive you to be less trustworthy because you have a few crooked teeth? Does your boss perceive you to be a little less intelligent? Does that investor that you’re pitching your idea to just not look at you as being very successful? Like it or not, your teeth and smile can have an impact on all of these things (see #5: Perceptions).
- Social Life
We all know the power of a first impression. In a world with dating apps like Tinder, first impressions have never been more important. It’s possible that crooked teeth could be making it harder to meet that special someone. In addition to the superficial aspect, people are also attracted to confidence. If you’re a little insecure about your smile, that can project low self-confidence and make you less attractive when meeting new people.
We all have subconscious biases through which we view other people. Here are some eye-opening numbers from a recent study about how people are perceived based purely on their teeth and smile:
- 73% of Americans would be more likely to trust someone with a nice smile than someone with a good job, outfit, or car.
- People with straight teeth are seen as 58% more likely to be successful or wealthy.
- People with straight teeth are 38% more likely to be perceived as intelligent.
Whether it is how we perceive ourselves, or how others perceive us, our smile is one of the first things people notice about us. If something is off with your teeth and smile, it can affect your self-confidence and the way that other people view you.