Australian research has overturned the belief that turning crooked teeth into a beautiful smile will automatically boost self-confidence
The research—published in the journal Orthodontics and Craniofacial Research—was carried out by a team from the University of Adelaide who examined 448 13-year-olds from South Australia in 1988 and 1989.
By the time that they turned 30 in 2005 and 2006, more than a third of them had received orthodontic treatment.
“The study, which is the first of its type undertaken in Australia and only the second in the world, examined if having braces leads to a greater level of happiness or psychosocial outcomes, later in life,” said Dr Esma Dogramaci from the University of Adelaide’s Dental School.
“There was a pattern of higher psychosocial scores in people who did not have orthodontic treatment meaning people who hadn’t had braces fitted were significantly more optimistic than the ones that did have braces.”
Dr Esma added that those who didn’t have braces had varying levels of crooked teeth, just like those who had braces treatment—ranging from mild through to very severe.
The study further confirmed that factors such as brushing at least twice a day and seeing a dentist regularly predict better psychosocial functioning as adults.
Dr Esma concluded: “While experiencing braces treatment won’t guarantee happiness later in life, brushing teeth twice a day and seeing a dentist for regular check-ups will help to keep you healthy and happy.”