One of the first things you see when you look in the mirror and smile is your teeth. Many patients come to me with crooked, stained, chipped, crowned or even missing teeth and seek help. They simply don’t like what they see. And, although it is a cosmetic issue for most, the underlying affects go much deeper. Often low self-esteem results from a poor self-image, which can ultimately even cause depression and a decline in your overall health.
How we perceive ourselves tells a lot about our health state. Here are a few ways our teeth affect our self-image and self-esteem:
- A missing tooth might make you more inclined to hide your smile or hesitate to speak in a public setting. It may also give you the appearance of looking older or more mature as facial features change with gap. For example, your cheeks may sink in a little.
- Slightly irregular or crooked teeth may cause worry over the possibility of needing braces or oral surgery to fix them. Others experience social anxiety as they also avoid conversations; especially with people they do not know.
- Children are also affected as they sometimes feel embarrassed at how their teeth may look to their friends. The possibility of being teased at school causing shyness, isolation or reluctance to participate in school activities.
How to Boost Your Confidence
Repairing your teeth can improve overall mental health. If you are experiencing issues with your teeth, first maintain good oral hygiene by brushing and flossing daily, visiting your dentist twice a year for a professional cleaning and eating healthy foods and vitamins. Here are some of the best foods for your teeth – so eat them – and here are some of the worst foods for your teeth – avoid them!
In some circumstances, you may also want to consider cosmetic dental care, which can include porcelain veneers, teeth whitening, orthodontics, dental bonding and cosmetic periodonitcs. Talk to your cosmetic dentist about these procedures and decide together if they are right for you.
I’ve seen first-hand how much a bright, white smile makes people feel better about themselves, boosting confidence and restoring smiles. It’s important to be serious about your dental care so you remain healthy inside and out!