40 Percent of Americans Too Ashamed of Mouths to Smile

Feeling Self-Conscious About Your Smile? You’re Not Alone. Especially if you are a young adult.

Thirty-nine percent of millennials (ages 18-34), about 30 million people, feel that “life, in general, is less satisfying” due to the condition of their mouth and teeth, according to a survey released by the American Dental Association. Thirty-five percent are embarrassed about the shape of the oral health, and 33 percent avoid smiling because of their tooth problems.

How sad. There’s more:

Twenty-eight percent of millennials go so far as to say that the appearance of their mouths and teeth affects their ability to interview for a job, nearly double the number of adults between the ages of 35 and 49 who said the same.

Among oral health problems, participants most frequently reported pain, difficulties with biting and chewing, and dry mouth.

As for appearances, 82 percent of adults across all age groups believe that straight, bright teeth help you get ahead in life.

But when it comes to cosmetic dentistry, Americans aren’t putting their money where their mouths are. While 77 percent of adults say they plan to visit the dentist in the next year, only 37 percent actually visited the dentist in the last year. Among millennials, the rate was even lower, 30 percent, which could explain why that age group is more likely to report poor oral health.

dental visit graph

Therein lies a cheeky millennial complex: Compared to their elders, young adults are more likely to complain about the condition of their teeth but less likely to visit the dentist.

Regardless of age, The reasons for avoiding the dentist are mostly the same. Sixty percent of all adults cited the cost of dental services as a barrier to entry. Fear of the dentist was the next most common justification for skipping out on cleanings.

The good news for millennials who are so unhappy with their mouths that they won’t smile is that access to cosmetic dentistry services is 10 times greater today than it was 20 years ago.  

Dental vibration appliances like Acceledent, which use micro-pulses to speed up tooth straightening and reduce discomfort associated with orthodontics, are a product of the last decade. 

Thin porcelain veneers called Lumineers, another modern breakthrough in dental technology, can correct cosmetic problems such as tooth chips, gaps, discoloration, and unevenness.

And clear thin trays, sold under the brand name Invisalign, offer a more convenient, comfortable and attractive alternative to braces.

Even X-Rays have come a long way, with lower prices, digitalization, faster processing times, and improved safety processes leading to an overall better experience than what was available 20 years ago.

Best of all, you can schedule a consultation to design your perfect smile for free right now. What are you waiting for?!