Smmmile, one of the UK’s leading Invisalign providers, has undertaken new research delving into the nation’s perception of their smile and the profound impact it has on their self-confidence, revealing shocking results.

One in four people (25 per cent) in the UK hate their smile with a staggering three-quarters (77 per cent) wanting to change their smile in one way or another! Ninety-three per cent of the UK agree that having a nice smile and straight teeth would improve their overall self-confidence. The findings highlight the pivotal role that oral aesthetics plays in shaping the perception of ourselves and others and the role social media has played in how we perceive our image online.

Amid a digital landscape saturated with celebrities flaunting their flawless pearly whites, it’s no surprise that so many are influenced and conscious of the importance placed on their appearance. It’s clearly not all happy scrolling as over 23m Brits admit that social media has impacted their confidence and the way they feel about their smile. This sentiment is amplified by the high-profile cosmetic dental transformations of reality TV stars like Molly Mae, and Jack Finchman, social media influencers and even Premier League footballers and managers like Jurgen Klopp, Roberto Firmino and Gabriel, reinforcing the idea that a flawless smile is not only desirable but in fact essential.

Appearance often takes centre stage in today’s digitally driven society, with visually led channels such as Instagram and TikTok now a staple of everyday life. Astonishingly, 64 per cent of people are too self-conscious to properly smile when taking pictures, claiming their teeth impact their confidence in front of the camera and over half (57 per cent) think that the condition of their smile has impacted their personal relationships or dating life. It’s no wonder why people are expressing increased interest in cosmetic dental treatments to enhance their features and emulate the celebrity look.

The majority of the UK (77 per cent) are interested in some form of dental treatment to improve their smile, with teeth whitening being the most popular choice for almost 27m of us, followed by nearly 15m wanting Invisalign to straighten their teeth.

Top three dental treatments the nation wants to improve their smile:

  1. Teeth whitening – 45 per cent
  2. Invisalign – 25 per cent
  3. Veneers – 14 per cent

Despite the current cost of living crisis causing people to be more cautious with some of their spending, the nation is still prepared to invest in cosmetic dental procedures, with over a quarter of the British public willing to spend between £2000-£5000 for the perfect smile.

With many people keen to improve their smile, it might not come as too much of a shock that a quarter of all Brits (25 per cent) would be willing to travel abroad for cosmetic dentistry procedures. However, ‘Turkey teeth’ as it has been coined, comes with its own dangers as principal dentist at Smmmile, Jon Hewitt confirms, “There can be real long-term damage jetting off abroad to places like Turkey for the cheaper dental treatments.

“When you get a full set of crowns, the teeth are permanently filed down to pegs, so even though it might be cheaper upfront, people going to Turkey also don't think about having to get them restored every 10 to 15 years. In the UK, we would straighten and then whiten the teeth, and we also use composite bonding, which does minimal damage to the teeth.”

He went on to comment on the findings of the survey, “It isn’t a surprise that so many people feel that social media has impacted their confidence and willingness to smile - I’ve had lots of patients visit me and ask if I can replicate the looks of someone from Love Island or TOWIE. Nowadays, people don’t just compare themselves to the family and friends around them, but to reality TV and Instagram stars who spend thousands of pounds on achieving the perfect look.

“For those looking to improve their smile through cosmetic treatment, I would always recommend having a consultation with a qualified dentist as teeth can be very complex and there’s never a ‘one size fits all’ solution. At Smmmile, we provide customers with a free consultation where we’ll explore the various options and conduct a 3D scan before committing to any treatments. This gives customers the chance to see what the transformation will look like and make sure it’s definitely what they’re looking for.

“For me, the most eye-opening and concerning finding from this new research is that 34 per cent of the nation are unaware of the major health risks that are associated with poor oral health. It seems that people are increasingly becoming more concerned with their physical appearance rather than the significant health implications that can come into play.”

Raph Pascaud, the co-founder of Smmmile, commented, “Despite the prevailing economic challenges, it’s great to see that people are wanting to invest in their oral health and place a high importance on having a healthy smile.

“With nine out of 10 dental practices unable to cater for new patients and offer NHS appointments, there’s a real and urgent need for private dental clinics to step up and offer affordable and accessible treatments. At Smmmile, we believe that to achieve a healthy and beautiful smile, you shouldn’t need to break the bank. We offer all our patients personalised treatment plans depending on their teeth goals and financial circumstances, offering the very best prices, experience, and results.”

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