Have you ever felt that your teeth have held you back at work or in your personal life? Well, you’re not alone.
Researchers have carried out a detail study and found that half the nation don’t like their smile and are so self conscious about their teeth that it affects them on a daily basis.
In a list about the things in life we stress the most about, teeth came third. Only finances and relationships ranked more highly.
One in five people feel that the appearance on their teeth has more of a negative effect on their confidence than their physique, hair or even wrinkles!
The same number expressed fears they were becoming increasingly introverted due to being self-conscious about smiling and laughing.
Out of the 2,000 adults surveyed, 61 per cent had been affected by ‘Posh Spice Syndrome’ – being wrongly considered miserable because they don’t smile very often.
Dr Aalok Shukla CEO and co-founder of on-demand teledentistry, Straight Teeth Direct, which commissioned the study said: “Smiling is the most natural thing in the world.
”It’s an important way to communicate across boundaries and languages.
“Consciously not smiling for fear of revealing your teeth can trigger a negative cycle comprising of feelings of anxiety, lack of confidence and low self-esteem.
While 17 per cent of those who took part in the study felt that the appearance of their smile has had a negative impact on their career, even more worryingly, one in 10 went as far as to claim they’d been turned down for a job due to their problematic teeth.
A similar number also felt they were reluctant to smile in meetings or when meeting new people amid fears they will be judged on the state of their teeth.
Any many people with these feelings also shy away from the camera due to their lack of confidence, finding photographs intimidating with 45 per cent of the 2,000 citing they don’t feel comfortable posting pictures of themselves on social media.
And another one in 10 even confessed they couldn’t bring themselves to smile for photos on their wedding day – for fear of baring their molars.
The data shows those with stained, crooked or missing teeth are most likely to feel less confident.
According to the report, one in five of those polled said feeling this way had impacted their ability to make friends, because they are wrongly perceived as ‘miserable’ or ‘rude’ with 46 per cent being told to smile for often and 16 per cent stated they had received negative comments about their smile or the way their teeth look.
Another one in ten were picked on at school and a staggering one in 20 admitted to considering cancelling their wedding due to anxieties about their smile while 14 per cent felt their smile was holding them back in the dating word.
The study found that more than a quarter have paid for procedures to improve the appearance of their smile – spending £692.91 on average in the process.
And one in 10 said they had used an app to make their teeth look whiter and brighter in photographs.
Our smile forms a huge part of our self esteem. Health and well-being psychologist Hope Bastine has given her top tips for boosting self-confidence this January.
1List your strengths and accomplishments
Make a list of everything you’ve done that you feel proud of, everything you’ve done well. When you’re needing a little pick me up, remind yourself that you can get things done and do them well by re-reading the list.
2Do a 360
Ask friends, family, and colleagues for a list of your skills and attributes including the impact you have on their life or why then enjoy having you in their life.
3Commit Random Acts of Kindness
Helping others can often help us to be less inward focused, soothing our own personal worries. It also feels good when you’re able to make a difference.
4Go with your gut
Your inner voice is a more potent source of wisdom than what you often give it credit for.
5Dress Fresh and Inject Some Colour
Just like there is nothing like the feeling of getting into clean sheets at night. Start the day with fresh clothes that make you feel good about yourself. While ironing can be a real bugbear, give it a whirl over that crumpled shirt. Or try wearing a colour that makes you feel good about yourself.
Smiling really does make you happy!
7Sleep for success
Sleep deprivation can have detrimental effects on your mind, body and brain. Running on too little sleep wears down our normal capacity to deal with daily aggravations and challenges and increases your odds of feeling overly sensitive, depressed, which can contribute to our low self-esteem.