Selfies are more popular than ever, but it seems that many Brits are afraid to show their teeth in photos. Here we look at why the British are so reluctant to smile for the camera.
Why are there no smiles in selfies?
According to the Guardian, 1.2 billion selfies were taken by British people in 2014. However, in most of these pictures, the subjects are not showing their teeth. Recent research conducted by the Oral Health Foundation found that although around 17 million selfies are shared on social media every week, less than a third of those polled would have an open-mouthed smile in a selfie, while just over a third said that the reason for not showing their teeth in a selfie was because their teeth were discoloured. Although over three quarters of those surveyed do smile in photos, most chose to smile without showing their teeth.
How to keep smiling
Despite fears that our teeth are discoloured, more than half of adult Britons admitted to only cleaning their teeth once a day, although this is something that can be easily fixed. Restricting the amount of sugary food and drink we consume will help, as will regular brushing twice a day for at least two minutes with a fluoride toothpaste.
While some oral health issues, such as improved brushing and better diet, are easy to resolve at home, others require more intervention. For example, crooked teeth will require specialist dental treatment. According to the Telegraph, the rise of the selfie has led to a sharp increase in the number of people seeking dental help to correct problems with their teeth, unaware that phones can sometimes create a distorted image of how people’s teeth look.
National Smile Month is an initiative that aims to get everyone to improve their oral health. The answer to seeing smiles on selfies is to improve the way our teeth look, either by better brushing and oral hygiene or by cosmetic dentistry. This will improve confidence so that people will feel less self-conscious and actually want to smile whether they are getting their photo taken or taking it themselves.