“Bad teeth” could mean teeth that are damaged, decayed, or missing, which can be serious physical health problems, but it could also mean that your teeth are stained, yellow, or not perfectly straight – a cosmetic issue. While it’s obvious why you should have dental problems like tooth decay fixed immediately, there is also a huge benefit to cosmetic dental work. Cosmetic dental problems can often take a toll on your mental state.
They can contribute to poor self-esteem
If you’re unhappy with the way you look, your negative feelings can affect your mental well-being. Feeling like your teeth look bad can make you feel inadequate. This can result in feelings of depression and isolation, which can cause you to withdraw from other people and from activities that you enjoy because you feel that other people will see and judge the appearance of your teeth.
They can make you feel self-conscious
If you are concerned about the way your teeth look, you might spend a lot of mental energy worrying about their appearance. You might try to hide your teeth and avoid smiling. Smiling is an important way that we communicate or show emotions to other people. Refusing to smile might make you seem unconfident, unhappy, and unapproachable; these things might reinforce feelings of isolation and increase your feelings of self-consciousness about your teeth.
You could miss out on the benefits of smiling
Smiling is good for you! Studies have shown that smiling can increase feelings of happiness, amusement, and joy. Forcing a smile when you’re not happy can even trick your brain into feeling happier. When you smile, serotonin, dopamine, and endorphins (all feel-good chemicals) are released in the brain. For the same reason, smiling also reduces stress.
Numerous studies have also shown that smiling makes us look better. Smiling people are perceived as more likable and attractive than those who don’t smile. It also helps us communicate with others (most communication is actually nonverbal), and can even be contagious! When you smile, the people who see you are more likely to smile, too. That’s like giving away a little dose of happiness.
If you think you have “bad teeth,” you shouldn’t let them get in the way of your mental health. Self-esteem, confidence, and happiness are powerful components of well-being, and your teeth shouldn’t be keeping you from them. If you’re self-conscious about the way your teeth look, having some cosmetic dental work could make all the difference.
If it’s time to get your teeth whitened, get fitted for dentures or veneers, or otherwise improve your smile give us a call!