What’s behind the great Aussie smile
Poor oral health nothing to smile about…
In the lead-up to World Smile Day (6 October), a new survey launched today, titled ‘The Australian Camera-Ready Smile’ , reveals the power of the Aussie smile. 48% of people identify the smile as the most important feature when taking a selfie and 57% say it is the most appealing attribute when viewing other people’s selfie shots on social media. Yet despite this the majority (58%) of Australians do not like to show their teeth when smiling for the camera.
When it comes to scrolling through friend’s feeds, the smile still wins, outweighing exotic locations (35%), adventurous activities (30%) and even who they are with (15%).
Most people think that we smile because we feel happy, but it can go the other way as well: we feel happy because we smile yet many of us are hiding our teeth behind our smile. While the smile is considered the most important feature for selfie shots, more than one in three (36%) do not believe their teeth should feature in their best camera-ready smile and in many cases (33%) say this is because they feel uncomfortable with how their teeth look.
The research, commissioned by the Oral Health Advisory Panel (OHAP) to better understand the relationship between the selfie camera-ready smile and a healthy smile, revealed that more than 2 million Australians are not comfortable with how their teeth look.
Christine Morris, OHAP member and Public Health Consultant, comments, “We were alarmed, but not really surprised, by the number of people who are not confident with how their teeth look. We’ve long been aware that good oral health is key to good self-esteem, and these survey results demonstrate that.”
Poor oral health can relate to self-consciousness, depression, avoidance of social contact, and reduced quality of life.
Ms Morris continues, “Poor oral health can have a significant impact on general health, not just how we appear in our selfie shots. However, despite the known links, people are still unaware of the impact that poor oral health could have on serious health conditions, which is nothing to smile about.”
- The smile is the most important feature when taking a selfie (48%) ahead of hair (25%) and pose (18%).
- The majority of Australians claim a healthy smile is the most appealing element when viewing other people’s selfie shots in social media. The things people are most likely to notice are smile (57%), hair (25%) and pose (21%).
- When viewing other people’s selfies the smile (42%) is even more important than the location (35%) or what the subject is doing (30%).
- While the smile is considered the most important feature for selfie shots less than half of Australians (41%) believe their best camera-ready smile is one in which their teeth are showing.
- Millennials (49%) are more likely to have their teeth on show in their ‘camera-ready smile’ than Gen X (38%) or Baby Boomers (38%).
- The reason for hiding the teeth is because they feel their face looks better with no teeth showing when they smile (58%) or they are uncomfortable in how their teeth look (33%).
- More than 2 million Australians are not comfortable with how their teeth look.
- Among those that do not like to show their teeth in photos they upload to social media, Gen X (40%) and Baby Boomers (35%) are more likely to feel uncomfortable with how their teeth look than Millennials (30%).
Christine Morris says, “With World Smile Day approaching, it is a timely reminder that establishing a good oral health regime, which includes regular visits to an oral health professional, not only helps to create a beautiful camera-ready smile. More importantly, it will help to ensure a healthy smile for years to come.”
Follow OHAP on Twitter @OHAPanel
About the Oral Health Advisory Panel
The Oral Health Advisory Panel (OHAP) was established in 2013 to raise the awareness of the importance of good oral health and its impact on general wellbeing. The panel comprises 13 independent health care experts including Dental Practitioners (Dentists, Dental Therapists & Oral Health Therapists), Academics leading research into improving oral health, Public Health Advisors, an Accredited Practising Dietitian (with expertise in oral health), a Developmental Psychologist and representation from the Australian Council for Health, Physical Education and Recreation (ACHPER), and the Australian Dental Association.
Colgate has enabled the establishment of the group and is represented on the panel by Dr Sue Cartwright, Scientific Affairs Manager and Dentist of 25 years.
Issued by Quay Communications on behalf of the Oral Health Advisory Panel (OHAP)
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