It’s no secret that a winning smile can help boost your confidence and make a memorable impression on the people you meet.
However, as we consistently note at Norwest Orthodontics, our role is to treat people, not just teeth, because there are a host of hidden benefits to orthodontic work that extend far beyond the confidence of looking good.
Orthodontic treatment can improve everything from your future dental health to the way you speak, how you eat and the quality of sleep you have, and that allows you to feel more confident courtesy of a greater overall sense of wellbeing.
Here’s an insight into the interplay between confidence and braces, and the far-reaching positive impacts they offer your self-esteem and wellbeing.
The confidence of a winning smile
Orthodontics Australia notes 60 per cent of Australians believe that a good smile gives you confidence, and a third of Australian say a person’s teeth is the first thing they notice when they meet someone.
“A confident smile goes a long way, both in a professional and personal setting. Whether you’re trying to land a new job, preparing for a special event or simply looking to make a good impression, a confident smile has the potential to be your best and most memorable asset,” Orthodontics Australia explains.
Meanwhile, American research found a good smile is also an asset likely to stand the test of time. A study by the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry found nearly half of all Americans (45 per cent) think a person’s smile can defy aging’s effects while eyes come in a distant second (34 per cent).
In comparison, fewer adults find the following features likely to age well:
- Body shape (10%)
- Hair (6%)
- Legs (5%)
The confidence of better dental health
Straight, properly aligned teeth allow for better access when it comes to cleaning and dental hygiene, which again has the potential to increase confidence and self-esteem throughout life.
When teeth can be easily cleaned and maintained, they are less prone to plaque, tartar, decay, gum disease, and ultimately tooth loss.
Good dental health also lessens the chance of more serious diseases developing later in life, with poor oral health linked to cardiovascular disease and some types of cancer.
Recent findings by the Australian Government note Australians aged 15 and over have on average 12.8 decayed, missing or filled teeth, with dental health deteriorating as people age.
They also found:
- Around 1 in 4 (27%) adults with natural teeth who were aged 15 years and over had felt uncomfortable about their dental appearance in the previous 12 months.
- Around 1 in 5 (21%) adults with natural teeth who were aged 15 years and over had avoided eating certain foods in the previous 12 months due to problems with their teeth.
- Around 1 in 6 (16%) adults with natural teeth aged 15 years and over had experienced toothache in the previous 12 months.
“Good oral health is fundamental to overall health and wellbeing,” the report stated. “Without it, a person’s general quality of life and the ability to eat, speak and socialise is compromised, resulting in pain, discomfort and embarrassment.”
The confidence of better wellbeing
Orthodontic treatment is not just restricted to braces and teeth straightening, it also has a clear and important focus on teeth and jaw positioning, which can improve other areas of health such a sleep quality and breathing.
Poor sleep quality and breathing issues are both linked to both physical and mental health issues, such as cardiovascular disease, weight gain, poor skin quality, depression and anxiety.
And quite simply, we feel better within ourselves, more resilient and more confident when we have the solid foundation of receiving sufficient, rejuvenating rest.
The confidence of improved speech
Just as orthodontic intervention can assist with better breathing, improved sleep and the general appearance of the smile, an often-overlooked fact is that it can also benefit speech.
That’s because the formation of the jaw and the way the tongue interacts with the teeth has a direct impact on the type of sounds we create when speaking.
Common orthodontic issues that may affect speech include overly-spaced teeth, open bite and overjet, while underbite, crossbite and overly crowded teeth can also impact the way the tongue moves within the mouth.
They often result in the following speech impediments:
- Lisp or whistling
- Articulation issues
Ultimately that means orthodontic intervention, including braces, has the potential to alleviate or eliminate speech impediments, offering greater confidence when it comes to communication, socialising and public speaking.
Wearing braces with confidence
Embracing orthodontic treatment signals the beginning of a journey that will see you healthier, happier and more self-confident about your overall appearance throughout life. But for some people that may not quite alleviate the initial nerves that come with the prospect of wearing braces.
If you’re feeling a little self-conscious about the idea of treatment and how it might affect your appearance in the short term, remember:
- Just months of treatment now set you up for a lifetime of improved self-esteem and better oral health.
- Braces have come a long way in the past few decades with more discrete options like Invisalign and the Damon Braces system available in clear.
- Treatment times are often shorter than they were in years gone by.
- You are far from alone – Chances are most of your friends had, have or will have braces, with an estimated 75 per cent of teens having an issue with the position of their teeth and bite alignment after mature teeth erupt.
Orthodontics Australia also offers further tips about wearing your braces with confidence, but in the interim it’s important to understand, orthodontic treatment is about you and about embracing the power to change what you can in a bid to improve your health, your wellbeing, your confidence and your future.
About Norwest Orthodontics
Norwest Orthodontics specialises in helping you achieve a great smile, no matter your age. We feature a range of orthodontic treatments that span from early intervention right through to remedial adult work.
We also have a suite of treatments available that include discreet, removeable Invisalign braces, and welcome the opportunity to work with you to achieve the smile you’ve always dreamed of.