Brits believe the state of their teeth has held them back at work and in their personal lives

Half the nation don’t like their smile, with many believing the state of their teeth has held them back at work and in their personal lives, it has emerged.

Researchers who carried out a detailed study found a large percentage of the population are so self-conscious about their teeth that it affects them on an almost daily basis.

Teeth also came third in a list of the things in life we stress most about – with only finances and relationships ranked more highly.

In fact, one in five felt their teeth had more of a negative effect on their confidence than their physique, hair or wrinkles.

One in five expressed fears they were becoming increasingly ‘introverted’ because they feel so self-conscious about smiling and laughing.

It also emerged 61 per cent of the 2,000 adults who took part in the study have 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.

“By connecting orthodontists to users directly through digital technology a positive cycle can be created meaning more people can finally straighten their teeth, smile freely and feel their best.”

According to the study 17 per cent of those who took part have concerns that the appearance of their smile has had a negative impact on their career.

Even more worryingly, one in ten went as far as to claim they have been turned down for a job due to their problematic teeth.

A similar number 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.

Even the proliferation of photographs can be intimidating for some who shy away from the camera due to a lack of confidence.

Over a quarter admitted they avoid smiling as much as they possibly can, with 45 per cent citing they don’t feel comfortable posting pictures of themselves grinning 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’.

Forty six per cent have been told to smile more often, while 16 per cent have received negative comments about their smile or the way their teeth look.

One in 10 revealed they were picked on at school due to their teeth and one in 20 admitted they had even considered cancelling their wedding as a result of anxieties about their smile.

It also emerged 14 per cent feel their smile has held them back in the dating world for the same reason.

The comprehensive 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.


List 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.

Do 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.

Commit 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.

Go with your gut
Your inner voice is a more potent source of wisdom than what you often give it credit for.

Dress 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 colour that makes you feel good about yourself.

Get Smiling
Smiling really does make you happy! A new app called Straight Teeth Direct™ (free, app store) is taking the stress and often prohibitive cost-implications, out of the equation of teeth straightening.

The next-generation teeth straightening service digitises the whole dentist experience via the app and delivers premium aligners directly to your door and connects customers to leading orthodontists for professional teeth straightening, to ensure you have round-the-clock support and supervision as you achieve your ideal smile at home.

Sleep 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.

Show More