The way you look influences the way people react to you — and the way people react to you will affect the way you feel about yourself. When you have crooked teeth, people will notice and this can make you reluctant to smile.
People who avoid smiling because they’re self-conscious about the way they look suffer significant consequences. It can even hold you back in your career and personal relationships. That’s why orthodontic care can have a highly positive impact on your self-esteem, dramatically enhancing your quality of life.
How Your Smile Impacts Your Self-Perception
Psychologists are discovering how important it is to your mental health to have a strong self-image. In fact, it’s essential for living a healthy, happy, and productive life. A positive self-perception is like a shield that allows people to navigate life’s ups and downs with insouciance.
According to Dr. Bill Sears, former chief of pediatrics at Toronto Western Hospital, the way “people value themselves, get along with others, perform at school, achieve at work and relate in marriage” are all dependent upon the “strength of their self-image.”
When you feel confident about your smile, you’re more than happy to share it with others, eliciting positive responses from the people around you. This, in turn, will make you feel more confident about yourself and your ability to interact comfortably with others. Thus, smiling more often can have a snowball effect, considerably strengthening your self-image.
People Will Notice Your Crooked Smile
The state of your smile has a major influence on the way people see you. There’s no question that living with a crooked smile will “make people feel self-conscious about their appearance and affect their self-esteem.” This can be particularly difficult for children and teenagers, especially if they lack confidence in other aspects of their lives. According to one study, “the impact of malocclusion on quality of life is substantial in children with low self-esteem.”
According to Dentistry Today, people will automatically notice poorly aligned teeth. Research demonstrates that “the human eye can judge a crooked smile in less than one second.” And people tend to judge those who possess a less-than-perfect smile. It’s even been noted that “people with attractive smiles are often perceived as more intelligent, better paid, and friendlier.”
See the Change With Orthodontic Treatment
In addition to enhancing your oral health, professional orthodontic care will dramatically improve the way you look and the way you feel about yourself. According to James G. Richardson, dentist and spokesman for the Academy of General Dentistry:
Many patients, prior to orthodontics, smile with their mouth closed, because they are self-conscious about their teeth, but after orthodontics, they usually smile naturally, showing off their new look.
When we think about orthodontics, we usually picture a teenager wearing metal braces. But about one in five patients with braces is over age 18. That’s because older patients can really benefit from a straighter smile.
Studies indicate that orthodontic treatment results in “a significant increase in patients’ self-esteem and QoL (Quality of Life).” According to Dr. Georgie Vargas of River Branch Dental, “Correcting your smile can help you become more outgoing socially, as well as in your career.”
One adult patient explains how living with a crooked smile was a serious roadblock to achieving personal and professional growth: “For years, my smile held me back, both in and outside of the office.” But after receiving adult braces, her life was transformed: “I started becoming the person and the professional I’d always wanted to be, navigating social and professional situations with more grit and assurance than ever.”
Today’s Braces Are Better Than Ever
In the past, braces were bulky, inconvenient, and highly noticeable. But modern advances in orthodontics have changed all that. Today, patients have a number of attractive options including streamlined metal braces and clear aligners that are barely noticeable.
With clear aligners from Invisalign®, “it’s now possible to achieve a beautiful smile discreetly and conveniently,” according to Dr. Shaylar Hatch of Arizona Dental Heights. These comfortable aligners gradually shift your teeth to the correct position. You simply remove your aligners when it’s time for a meal, so there are no restrictions on your diet with Invisalign.
Because your Invisalign aligners are practically invisible, most people won’t even notice you’re wearing them. According to Dr. Bernard Ang at Amherst Village Dental, this makes Invisalign “an outstanding treatment option for adults and teenagers” who want to straighten their smile as inconspicuously as possible.