Majority of Brits happy with their smile, says new poll
Almost three-quarters of British people would say they like or love their smile, according to a new poll.
The Oral Health Foundation released the results of the survey of 1,3000 adults in the UK as part of National Smile Month, which this year runs until 14 June, to investigate how positively people feel about their smile and how healthy they believe their mouth is.
The poll also found that more than half of those interviewed (55%) were highly positive about their smile while nearly one in five (18%) displayed an even greater love for it.
Results also showed a strong connection between people believing they have good oral health and feeling confident about their smile.
In most cases, those who said liked their smile deemed themselves as having good oral health, while those who love their smile believe they have excellent oral health.
In addition, those who do not like their smile consider themselves to have poorer oral health.
Smile with confidence
Dr Nigel Carter OBE, chief executive of the Oral Health Foundation, believes that these answers are indicative of a correlation between the health of the mouth and a person’s confidence to show off their smile.
‘Many people view good oral health as an important factor in their overall appearance, and in most cases, the health of the mouth can play a significant role in a person’s confidence to smile’, Dr Carter said.
‘This is most likely because a healthy smile often translates to an attractive smile and this will make a person feel better about themselves.
‘A smile communicates a sign of friendship, trust and acceptability.
‘As these are things most people strive towards, it means that taking good care of the mouth is incredibly important.’
A negative view
The poll also showed that men are more likely to like their smile compared with women (80% versus 67%), while those aged between 25 and 34 are the most self-confident when it come to their smile.
Geographically, Oxford residents are the most positive about their smile, with 86% viewing it positively, followed by Birmingham (85%), London (82%), York (76%), and Sheffield (72%).
At the other end of the spectrum, residents of Aberdeen are most likely to view their smile negatively (53%), followed by Nottingham (43%), Bristol (42%), Coventry (39%), and Leeds (38%).
‘Poor gum health, crooked teeth, stained teeth and missing teeth are some of the problems that can prevent people from smiling with confidence’, Dr Carter added.
‘Low self-esteem and lack of confidence can cause a person to become withdrawn and depressed as they may feel uncomfortable smiling, talking, eating in public and meeting new people.
‘Emotional problems can cause eating disorders to develop and both bulimia and anorexia can lead to dental problems such as erosion that may need cosmetic dentistry to rectify.
‘The stress that causes people to overeat can also contribute to the neglect of oral care which can lead to gum disease and tooth decay and the loss of an attractive smile.
‘A healthy mouth plays an incredibly important role in a person’s physical and mental health.
‘It has also been found to have a positive effect on a person’s relationships and careers too.
‘Having good oral health can also help prevent or manage a number of wider health problems such as heart disease, strokes, diabetes, premature births and respiratory disease.’