The following article is a guest post.
If you’ve been blessed with healthy and perfectly aligned teeth, then you are a cause for great envy.
Whilst many of us suffer from crooked teeth, cavities and jaw misalignment, orthodontic treatment is a very busy branch of dentistry.
Of course we’d all much rather flaunt a mouthful of immaculate pearly-whites that don’t have us taking regular humdrum trips to the dentist, leaving us in a bit of a sore state.
Although bad teeth cause unpleasant oral issues, such as TMJ, and in extreme cases, speech disorders, the consequences go beyond physical health, and often costs one’s psychological well-being.
Just think about the little things that boost your endorphin levels before you leave your house in the morning.
Wearing a trendy outfit, or having a nice hairdo, perhaps.
You feel good don’t you?
Now evoke the times when these moments didn’t go to plan.
It dampened your spirit, and some of us saddled with bad teeth have to live with this gloom everyday of our lives, especially as it can not be rectified overnight.
So, what is considered as bad teeth?
Whether it be a misaligned bite, tooth decay, crookedness, discolouration, or missing teeth, unfortunately, these are signs of an unhealthy mouth.
But for many, oral health isn’t the only concern for bad teeth, it is the decline in physical appearance that leads to emotional and psychological breakdown.
As we live in a more self-conscious society where being “beautiful” is pretty much everything, having bad teeth is becoming more culturally unacceptable, and is highlighted through the rise of orthodontic treatment.
Whilst we can’t deny that we all love to look fabulous, as it often boosts our confidence and self-esteem, the intense emphasis on media superficials make us feel as though we have no choice!
From being bullied to feeling secluded, and even suicidal, those with dental issues have felt the raft of society’s disapproval of bad teeth.
Sometimes, we (including you) judge them in unfair ways beyond their control, giving teeth the power to have a strong impact on our daily lives.
Here are some ways having bad teeth can affect important moments in your life.
The Unfair Psychology of Bad Teeth
1. Finding a Relationship.
So, here is the uncomfortable truth…
Bad teeth equates to little chance of finding love.
Perhaps not literally, but it is much harder to find a new dating partner, as statistics have shown that bad teeth is certainly one of the biggest dating turn offs.
If you ever thought ‘attraction’ was all about flawless skin, sleek hair and a to-die-for figure, you might want to rethink eating those box of chocolates, because the state of your teeth is at the top of the board.
Imagine going on a date with somebody attractive who ticks all the boxes, only to be exposed to rows of gnarly gnashers every time they speak during your conversation.
Let’s be honest, would that break the deal?
As you already know, physical appearance plays a significant role in dating, and is a main factor in the rise of cosmetic surgical advancements.
But good teeth, particularly white, straight and even, appear to be a no.1 must-have for men and women when it comes to dating.
It may never have occurred to you, but teeth count in first impressions, as it is the first thing people notice and remember about you. And many tend to be instantly attracted to those with a healthy set of teeth.
Although, bad teeth could actually be down to genetics, for many, teeth is a strong indicator of health and personal hygiene, and unfortunately, nobody wants to date someone with bad hygiene.
Whilst it’s unfair that people with good oral health find it easier to find love, even though it has no relevance to their personality traits, the reality of the matter is that before we begin dating someone it is their looks that appeal to us first.
It’s very hard to progress into a relationship without this first stage of approval, as unlike people you already know, strangers are unaware of your good qualities that could compensate for your looks and can only make their decision based on physical attraction.
As much as people bang on about looks not being everything, it is in fact more important than we think, as people associate positive qualities with good looks, such as being happier, successful, and having greater rewarding life experiences than their less attractive counterparts.
So, if you’ve been graced with pearly whites and a straight smile, you’re definitely steps ahead in the dating scene.
2. Reluctance to Smile.
So, remember the time you were on the tube or walking down the street, and you smiled at that person and they didn’t smile back?
You probably thought they were unfriendly and rude, but in fact, many people with bad teeth avoid smiling all together, and whilst they genuinely want to return a smile, sometimes they feel ashamed by their teeth.
Unfortunately, in a world dominated by aesthetic values, bad teeth is considered extremely unattractive, and people avoid smiling because of the stigmas attached with horrible teeth.
People tend to think that those with bad teeth are dirty, too lazy to care about their teeth, have a bad diet and an unfit lifestyle, or are even from a lower socioeconomic background.
Nobody, whether they have good or bad teeth, want to be associated with these negative stereotypes.
So, they’d rather not smile, or if you’re lucky, give you the miserable-looking, lopsided closed-mouthed smile.
The truth is, a smile is a symbol of attractiveness, and provides many benefits in life, such as reducing stress and encouraging positive thinking.
Although smiling makes you look ten times more attractive, it gives you a better impression of yourself, as people tend to think of smiley individuals as happy, cheerful and pleasant characters.
Smiling makes you more approachable, especially as statistics have shown that people find those with good teeth more trustworthy, and a signal for generosity and extroversion.
People who don’t smile miss out on these positive perceptions and lose out on opportunities because they look unwelcoming, when in fact they are only battling with self-consciousness.
So, before you hold grudges against those non-smilers, just remember that they may be hiding behind their smile, and with teeth being the main attraction of a smile, you can’t really blame them!
3. Diminish Confidence in Public.
When there are social gatherings, have you ever noticed that one person standing among the crowd in silence, and trying to make themselves inconspicuous?
Well, it’s not always because they lack social or communication skills, or think everyone else are a bunch of weirdos.
Sometimes, they are bubbly people bursting to join in on the conversation, but are afraid of being judged by their teeth, thus deflating their confidence and giving them lower self-esteem.
We can’t deny that as human beings, we scrutinise our surroundings whilst our minds drift off with related thoughts.
Some of us also have a habit of staring at things we find unpleasant just like the things we find attractive, as it stimulates interest, admiration and curiosity.
So instead, people with bad teeth avoid the spotlight and put a trap on their mouth. Whilst watching others with “perfect” teeth laughing and chatting away because they do not want to draw attention to their teeth and feel as if they are constantly being judged.
In some cases, bad teeth can affect your speaking manner, such as mispronunciation. It can be hard to maintain social relationships when people struggle to understand you.
More so, people associate speech disorders with certain character traits. Such as unintelligence, incompetence and unreliability, and can result in people with bad teeth being mishandled.
Whenever you find someone acting shyly in a crowd of people, just remember that their confidence level may not be as high as yours if they are burdened with bad teeth, and isn’t always because they are unsociable characters.
So, try not to brush them off as aloof, and make them feel as welcome as you feel!
4. Discrimination in the Workplace.
As you may already know, physical appearance can either make or break your chance of landing a job.
Employers always factor in one’s physical appearance, as it demonstrates that you are competent, passionate and serious about the role.
That’s why when you turn up to interviews, you make a big effort in looking well-kempt and professional to make a great impression.
In the business world, employers are very conscious of employees’ dental appearance, and could be a deciding factor in why some people are turned away from a potential job.
Unfortunately, it appears as if opportunity and success is not equal to all, especially those with unpleasant chompers, as they are deemed less employable.
Studies have shown that those considered more physically attractive were more likely to be accepted for the job role than their less attractive counterparts.
You could be the perfect candidate for the role, but if your teeth are in bad condition, they are very unlikely to hire you, especially if it is a customer-facing role.
Companies do not like to hire people with bad teeth if they are going to be doing face-to-face interaction with customers on a daily basis. It can affect the reputation of the business.
Whilst competency is still integral to the job, if they had to choose between candidates that are equally qualified they are very likely to pick the more attractive candidate, or the one with better looking teeth.
This would explain why people with good teeth are more likely to be wealthy and successful. As the discrimination against those with bad teeth hampers their social mobility, preventing them from career progression and having a successful career.
Although competency should be the main reason for hiring an employee, the state of your teeth appears to be just as important. It can be an integral part of the decision-making process.
So, if you have lovely teeth, you are more likely to be accepted for job opportunities and progress further in life than those with crooked teeth.
Dealing With Your Teeth.
It turns out that you are better off in society if you have good teeth.
If your teeth are in healthy condition, you may not have realised the extent to which you are at an advantage in society, and is something you shouldn’t take for granted.
It increases your chances in career success and provides a better social life.
Looking after your teeth is extremely important if you want to progress in life, as failure to do so can result in life-changing disadvantages.
If you suffer from the above issues or know anybody with bad teeth, reach out to Hampstead Orthodontic Practice and seek some professional advice to put an end to bad oral health and the negative psychological effects that come with it.