Half of British kids lose confidence due to imperfect teeth, study finds

By Staff 6 Min Read

A study of 2,000 parents and children aged 4-11 found 84% feel less confident with their smile and credit their insecurity to missing teeth, them not being “white”, wonky or gappy

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Half of British children are suffering from a lack of confidence due to their imperfect teeth, according to a new study. The research, which surveyed 2,000 parents and children aged between 4-11, found that 84% feel less confident with their smile, attributing their insecurity to missing teeth (20%), discolouration (20%), crookedness (19%) or gaps (13%).

However, renowned British photographer Ian Rankin has taken striking photos of primary school children proudly displaying their unique teeth, celebrating the wobbly, gappy and snaggly gnashers in all their glory.

Rankin teamed up with Aquafresh after the study revealed that 36% of kids have felt too embarrassed to smile or laugh because of how they feel about their teeth. This heartbreaking statistic highlights the damaging effect of low self-esteem on our youngest generation.

But it’s not just children who are feeling the pressure for perfect teeth – parents are also feeling the strain. Almost half (48%) noticed their child becoming self-conscious or lacking in confidence due to the appearance of their teeth or smile.

A further 43% said their children are affected by society’s obsession with “picture perfect” teeth, and almost all (98%) believe dental health is a crucial factor in their child’s overall confidence and self-esteem.

“Perfection is an attitude so being able to help kids embrace their wobbly, wonky teeth and realise what is ‘considered’ as perfect teeth doesn’t matter has been brilliant. Who doesn’t love to challenge the status quo it’s more interesting being different, anyway.”

Rankin’s images will be on display to the public at a gallery exhibition in London at Black & White Soho on Saturday 27th and Sunday 28th April, 2024.

Monica Michalopoulou, spokesperson for Aquafresh said: “We’re thrilled to unveil these captivating images captured by Rankin, empowering children to take pride in their healthy teeth-because perfect teeth are just healthy teeth. Our longstanding commitment to shedding light on dental care challenges faced by families remains unwavering.”

“We are dedicated to our ‘Shine Bright’ schools’ campaign-a vital initiative that amplifies awareness and enriches dental education for parents, teachers, and children across the UK, that’s in its fifth year. This program, accessible to all primary schools, emphasises the importance of early teeth brushing through fun and engaging activities.”

Dr Saul Konviser from the Dental Wellness Trust, which has been supported by the dental brand for the last three years added: “Whilst Rankin’s moving portraits demonstrate the joy in a child’s proud, toothy smile, it’s also heartbreaking to find out that half of children are feeling low in confidence due to the way their teeth look.”

“We know that if teeth are looked after and healthy, they are perfect. Dental health should be as much a part of a child’s self-care routine as washing their body and getting enough sleep – especially as we navigate the dental health crisis in the UK, and it becomes harder than ever to secure a dentist’s appointment.”

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