Research on the social impact of perfect, straight teeth mostly centres around North American beauty standards. Given the ubiquity of U.S. pop culture and “the Hollywood smile” everywhere else in the world, it should come as no surprise. You can walk into any dentist’s office, pull up a picture of a red carpet-ready Beyoncé, and they’ll know what you’re after. You want to achieve smile perfection.
The media-consuming public has gotten so used to seeing straight, white teeth on celebrity faces that anything outside that is deemed “abnormal.” But surely these expectations are only for those in the public eye, right? Not always. It depends on who’s looking and how much you – and the society you’re a part of – values conventional attractiveness.
In Japan, for example, people embrace the imperfections that come with your natural teeth. Some Japanese men consider “snaggleteeth,” or yaeba (irregular or projecting teeth), endearing. Meanwhile, the British seem to reject over-enhancing their teeth to the point of artificiality. At the same time, you’ll spot enormous, flashy billboards everywhere in major cities like Manila and Bangkok – each featuring an anonymous model with bright, impossibly perfect teeth.
You can take that as proof that beauty standards are ever-evolving and vary across cultures. Still, it’s tough for the average person to go against societal pressures, especially concerning beauty. After all, most people still want to look good, even if they’re not a celebrity. The halo effect makes it abundantly clear that many social benefits come with conventional attractiveness. Having great-looking teeth is only one piece of the contemporary beauty puzzle.
What Is “Perfect Teeth” According to Contemporary Beauty Standards?
Here are a few of the general qualities that society typically associates with perfect teeth.
Well-aligned teeth with no noticeable gaps, crowding, and other malocclusions are the gold standard. Many choose to undergo dental treatments to address misalignment. Over the years, clear aligners (such as the ones by ClearCorrect) have become increasingly popular for this purpose. They’re touted as more discreet, comfortable, and easy to use compared to traditional, metal-wired braces.
2. Bright and white
Your natural teeth will never be paper-white. The enamel features a blueish white colour, but it is also somewhat translucent, so the yellow of the dentine beneath it shows through. It makes teeth appear light grey or light yellow. Despite this reality check, shiny, pearly-white teeth continue to be an inescapable phenomenon.
3. Proportional and symmetric
Ideally, your teeth should be proportional to each other. Many cosmetic dentistry professionals use the golden ratio as a guide in smile design to ensure that each tooth is optimal in size and shape. Symmetry is also a crucial factor, with each tooth matching its counterpart on the other side of the mouth.
4. Clean and healthy
Beyond looking good, your teeth should also be in good health. That means having no plaque build-up, cavities, and other signs of damage or decay. Healthy teeth wouldn’t be possible without healthy gums and vice versa, so having gums in tip-top condition (pink, firm, with no signs of bleeding or inflammation) is part of the equation, too.
What are the Social Benefits of Having Perfect, Straight Teeth?
Are you wondering how straight teeth change your life? Having perfect teeth can lead to numerous benefits as a result of its aesthetic impact. At least, that’s the prevailing belief. A beautiful smile can lead to more opportunities, especially in social and professional spaces. Here’s how.
1. It boosts self-confidence.
So, are people with straight teeth more confident? Being comfortable with how you look makes it easier to exude confidence. That self-possessed quality is captivating and draws the right people into your orbit. You make instant connections that can turn into life-long relationships. When you navigate the world confidently, it just shows. It makes you stand out and allows you to show off all your other amazing qualities.
2. It helps you make a great first impression.
It doesn’t matter if you’re going out on a date or meeting a potential employer for a job interview. A stunning, megawatt smile will always leave a lasting impression. Pair it with enviable self-confidence and a charming personality, and you’ll have that second date or dream job in the bag.
3. It makes you look even better on camera.
In the age of social media and video calls, most people want to look camera-ready. You want to be able to sit in online meetings without hyper-focusing on your face or pose for selfies without feeling self-conscious. When your teeth are just the way you like them, these worries go out the window.
It seems that perfect, straight teeth are worth pursuing because of their potential to improve your quality of life. If you’re eager to reap the benefits of a straighter smile, find out if you’re a candidate for treatment through this online smile assessment. For more on ClearCorrect and its products, visit the website today. And remember: exuding confidence and loving yourself no matter what go a long way in this life.
BBC News. (2018, July 20). Yaeba dentistry: The appeal of pointy teeth.
Khalid, A., & Quiñonez, C. (2015). Straight, white teeth as a social prerogative. Sociology of Health and Illness, 37(5), 782–796.
Talamas, S. N., Mavor, K. I., & Perrett, D. I. (2016). Blinded by Beauty: Attractiveness Bias and Accurate Perceptions of Academic Performance. PLOS ONE, 11(2), e0148284.
Villazon, L. (2020, April 21). Are yellow teeth stronger? BBC Science Focus Magazine.
Parkinson, B. J. (2015, May 27). The myth of bad British teeth. BBC News.