Every Dentist Needs Your Help Keeping Your Teeth Healthy

Are Crooked Teeth Affecting Your Teen's Self-Esteem?

If you're the parent of a teenager, you know that a teen's self-esteem can sometimes be a fragile thing. Low self-esteem can lead to a variety of problems that can affect your teen into adulthood. It's normal for teenagers to be very image-conscious, so it's often negative thoughts about their looks that can start to shake their self-esteem. For example, tooth problems, like crooked or misaligned teeth, that prevent your teen from having a confident smile can also have a negative impact on your teen's self-esteem. Take a look at what you need to know about the connections between crooked teeth and self-esteem.

Peer Perception

Teenagers are very sensitive to the opinions and judgments of their friends and peers. That's why teens are concerned with things like wearing certain clothing styles or doing their hair a certain way. Most want to be perceived as one of the group, and they don't necessarily want to stand out. They certainly don't want to stand out for a negative reason.

Studies show that crooked teeth can cause a person to stand out for negative reasons. According to a perception survey, Americans perceive people with straight teeth as being successful, smart, and friendly. Not only are people less likely to attribute these positive qualities to someone with crooked teeth, but the survey also showed that people with crooked teeth are less likely to get a date. If your teen is suffering social consequences as a result of having crooked teeth, it could seriously affect their self-esteem.

The Power of Smiling

A teen with crooked teeth may try to avoid exposing the flaw by avoiding smiling. Unfortunately, this may only increase the negative impact on your teen's self-esteem. As far as peer perception goes, teens who avoid smiling are likely to be viewed as unfriendly or unapproachable, and they will suffer some of the same social consequences as teens with crooked teeth.

Not smiling can also have a negative impact on your teen's state of mind. Just the act of smiling can be a mood-booster, and it can also reduce stress. Deliberately not smiling or frowning can have the opposite effect, bringing on low moods and increasing stress. This can exacerbate a teen's feelings of low self-esteem, making everything seem that much worse.

The Long-Term Effects

Teens may be more image-conscious than most other groups of people, but they're not the only ones affected by flaws in their smile. Research shows that not only do perfect smiles increase self-esteem but also that poor oral health negatively impacts the quality of life in adults. Tooth loss, in particular, can seriously impact the quality of life, largely because of the self-consciousness and negative feelings patients have about their missing teeth.

What does tooth loss in adulthood have to do with teens and crooked teeth? It's important to remember that misaligned teeth are not just a cosmetic problem; they also affect oral health. If your teen has crooked teeth now, they're more likely to experience decay between teeth, especially where there's overlap that they and their dentist can't clean properly. This puts them at greater risk for problems like gum disease and tooth loss later on. Straightening their teeth can not only give your teen a self-esteem boost now; it can also help preserve their dental health – and their self-esteem – later in life.

If your teen has crooked teeth and you're concerned about their dental health and their self-esteem, talk to an orthodontist about straightening your teen's teeth or visit websites like for more information. There are many different tooth straightening options, including removable invisible braces, which many teens prefer. Your dentist can help you and your teen find the tooth straightening treatment that is right for your child. 

About Me

Every Dentist Needs Your Help Keeping Your Teeth Healthy

When I was a child and teenager, I always left the dentist's office with the great feeling of having no cavities. When I went away to college out-of-state, I had to switch to a new dentist in my area. It seemed like I was suddenly getting cavities and started wonder what my new dentist "was doing wrong". When I spoke to my mother about it, she reminded me that the reason I never had cavities when I was living it home was because she always made sure my siblings and I brushed and flossed daily and didn't eat too much sugar. I then realized that my late-night study sessions drinking sugary soda and my suddenly bad brushing habits were the true causes of my cavities. I have since learned a lot more about dental health I am eager to share with anyone who needs the advice!


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