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Half of adults ‘anxious’ about their smile

One in five have received negative comments from family members

Half of British adults (51%) are often made to feel anxious about how their smile looks, a poll shows.

The survey from the Oral Health Foundation found television and social media are the biggest culprits, causing 31% to feel inadequate about their smile.

Nearly one in five (17%) have received negative comments from family members about how their smile looks while others have received comments from partners (14%), friends (13%), and colleagues (9%).

One in 10 have been subjected to unkind remarks about their teeth from strangers.

Dr Nigel Carter OBE, chief executive of the Oral Health Foundation, said having the confidence to smile plays an important role in everyday life.  

The research shows younger people are more likely to feel worried about the appearance of their teeth. Nearly two-thirds (87%) of those under-35 have been made to feel self-conscious about their smile. 

“Owning a beautiful smile is about more than aesthetics,” Carter added. “Having a clean mouth, strong teeth and healthy gums are so much more important than the colour or shape of our teeth.”