Leading UK dental charity urges us to be more confident, as survey suggests a third of adults don’t like their smile

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The Oral Health Foundation is urging people to be more confident about their smiles, after a nationwide poll revealed that almost a third of adults aren’t happy with the look of their smile.

The survey, which was published to coincide with the launch of National Smile Month in May, suggested that more than half of adults have been made to feel self-conscious about the appearance of their smile, and 31% of participants admitted to feeling ‘inadequate’ when it came to the look of their pearly whites. The main contributing factors to high rates of anxiety and low levels of confidence were social media and the rising popularity of TV reality shows.

Almost 20% of people have received negative and unkind comments about their smile from relatives, while 14% have been berated by their partner. Ten percent of people have received nasty comments from a stranger.

In light of the survey findings, the chief executive of the Oral Health Foundation, Dr Nigel Carter OBE, is encouraging people to be more confident. Confidence plays such an important role in the way we behave, especially around others, and nobody should ever feel like they have to hide their smile away. In the media and on social media platforms, it’s very difficult to get away from images and photographs of pristine teeth, and this is undoubtedly impacting the way we view our own smiles. Dentists recently reported a huge increase in the popularity of cosmetic treatments like tooth whitening and veneers following the unprecedented success of last year’s series of Love Island.

National Smile Month is an annual campaign, which encourages people to look after their teeth and gums and smile with confidence.

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