This insecurity translates into employability too, with over 21% claiming that they felt less confident in job interviews because of their smile or their oral health, and 12% believing that these issues were holding them back from promotion or getting a job.
The study, commissioned by US health insurance company Cigna, involved interviews with 1,000 American adults with the aim of getting a cross-section that mirrored the US population. Its goal was to better understand the link between oral health and mental wellbeing, including its effect on self-esteem, stress, confidence, employability and the ability to make and maintain meaningful social connections.
Most of those questioned said they were ‘very or completely satisfied’ with their smile, but 15% reported being unhappy with theirs, and a similar percentage (16%) said their smile impaired their self-confidence.
While it might be common sense to assume that a healthy mouth and attractive smile would increase confidence, the figures were convincing: Of those who were ‘completely satisfied with their smile’, 93% rated their confidence as excellent or very good, compared with only 30% of those who were not at all satisfied with their smile. Similarly, of those who said their oral health was excellent, 91% claimed their self-confidence was good or excellent, and only 37% of those whose oral health was fair or poor felt the same level of confidence.
Confidence was also higher among those who visited the dentist or hygienist around twice a year compared with those who had routine appointments once or less than once a year. About 63% of the interviewees felt their oral health would benefit from improvement, and 58% thought their smile could be improved.
Regular brushing with BioMin F can play a vital part in improving oral health, by strengthening and protecting tooth enamel and relieving the symptoms of dentine hypersensitivity.