Is Selfie Popularity Causing Increased Dental Self-Consciousness?

Is Selfie Popularity Causing Increased Dental Self-Consciousness?

In just the last few years, the so-called “selfie” has grown in popularity to the point where it has become commonplace to see people using their phones to take photos of themselves. On the surface, it at least seems like a harmless activity. Some dentists, however, have noticed that the rise of the selfie has also coincided with an increase in patients who have a distorted perception of their own front teeth!

The Selfie, by the Numbers…

Statistics may sometimes lie, but in this instance the numbers really do tell the tale: the selfie is a global phenomenon that doesn’t seem to be going away any time soon. According to some estimates, more than a million of these selfies are taken each day around the world – and that number only accounts for the activity of people between the ages of eighteen and twenty-four.

In the English-speaking world, nearly forty percent of the population claims to have taken at least one of these pictures, and more than half have shared them on platforms such as Snapchat. Thirty percent of selfie-takers admit to using various apps to modify their photos. The one statistic that is proving to be disconcerting to dentists is this: the number of patients who are concerned about the size and angle of their front teeth has increased by 30% over the last half-decade!

Horse Teeth Concerns

According to reports, dental offices are seeing a regular influx of patients with complaints about their “horse-like” teeth. Now, that might seem normal when you consider that everyone desires attractive teeth and a perfect smile. In this instance, however, the vast majority of these complaints turn out to be baseless. Once the dentist actually sees the patient’s teeth with his or her own two eyes, it becomes clear that there is no defect.

Some of these dentists believe that there is a simple reason for these patients’ concerns: the selfie. It is common for selfie-takers to angle their phones in such a way that they are positioned slightly above them, and close to the face. Along with the lighting caused by the camera flash, this angle can result in slightly distorted images that make it appear as though the patient’s front teeth are protruding more than they should.

Some dentists report two or three of these consultations a week, most of which turn out to be concerns based on nothing more than an optical illusion. In those instances, they simply do their best to reassure the patients that their teeth are perfectly normal, healthy, and attractive. Some dentists apparently also offer tips to help patients take more flattering photos!

At Ebenezer Dental, we would never claim to be expert photographers, so we may not have selfie tips to offer when you stop in to see us. We do, however, recognize attractive teeth when we see them, and can help you ensure that your teeth look their best at all times. If you have concerns about the appearance of your teeth, contact us today and let us schedule an appointment for you with the best dentist in Midtown Manhattan.