Levy Dental Arts Map

A straight and white smile is becoming more sought after than ever before. This mindset began with the ‘Hollywood smile’ when we first started to develop an interest in mimicking the results of celebrity cosmetics. For many at the time, the riches of these stars along with the price of cosmetic dentistry put such procedures out of reach. But much has changed.

Today, the price of cosmetic dentistry, like tooth whitening and adult orthodontics have become far more affordable and accessible. It means today’s Hollywood smile is now the ‘Love Island smile’. As a reality show, this creates an image that cosmetic dentistry is obtainable and as ‘normal’ as visiting the hairdresser or barber. More of us are taking an interest in our own smile and searching for ways to improve it. This is an extremely positive attitude. However, while changing the appearance of our teeth sits high on many people’s wish lists, it is important to remember the most important thing – the health of our smile.

New research

To get a better understanding of how we view our smiles, we teamed up with Philips Sonicare to commission a brand new piece of research.  And the results of the investigation are eye-opening. 

One-in-five (20%) British adults have had cosmetic dentistry – and nearly one-in-ten (9%) have had it in the last year alone.  What’s more, another 19% of the population say they are looking into cosmetic dental work with the intention of having it one day soon.

Unsurprisingly, tooth whitening came top of the dental makeover shopping list.  Nearly one-in-three (32%) Brits want whiter teeth while two-in-three (66%) have actively considered it.

One of the main concerns from our investigation is that whiter teeth is considered more than twice as desirable as having healthy gums.  This is a problem. 

A white smile can also be a healthy one

There is a need for us to readdress our perceptions of a healthy smile.  It’s important to remember that with the introduction of cosmetic dentistry, all may not be what it seems, and a white smile is not necessarily a healthy one.

White teeth as a result of tooth whitening are still susceptible to tooth decay, and the gums are still prone to disease.

Just as white teeth can improve our self-esteem, suffering from tooth loss can have the opposite effect.  Strong evidence is also pointing to gum disease linking to wider conditions such as heart disease, strokes, diabetes, and dementia.  The health of our mouth isn’t only important for the state of our smile, it is also incredibly influential for our quality of life.

It all means we need to strike a better balance.  Of course, we can still have our teeth whitened, but we need to realize that the health of our teeth is far more important than the color. Read further on Dentalhealth.org