How Smile Dysmorphia and Selfie Culture Creates Negative Aesthetic Demands

Our self-image has become an intricate part of our lives, especially with the influences of social media. Today’s internet culture often makes us more aware of how others see us, especially through platforms such as Twitter, TikTok, and Instagram. While social media has given us the ability to bring people together, it also places a huge spotlight on common insecurities regarding our sense of beauty, accomplishments, and values. Feelings of inadequacy and unattractiveness can often result from the after-effects of selfie culture, and this type of culture has also developed a new form of dysmorphia, known as smile dysmorphia.

How Can Smile Dysmorphia Harm To Your Health

Smile dysmorphia can come from a negative self-image, especially for those who are impressionable to feelings of inadequacy. These feelings of inadequacy can lead to a warped perception of the appearance of their smile, where most selfies often appear as white, perfectly straight teeth. It often persists through pickiness about smile whiteness, disapproval with the shape of your teeth, and hesistance to smile in various circumstances due to exceeding self-awareness in social circumstances. This constant fixation on physical flaws can also lead to obsessions over-improving one’s appearance through dental treatments.

For many people, smile dysmorphia can be an immense source of anxiety. For someone with smile dysmorphia, it can lead to heavier use and reliance on dental treatments and surgeries to correct and treat perceived images of imperfections. Many facial and cosmetic surgeons most often see these symptoms in those who have either facial or body dysmorphia. Many surgeons that focus on aesthetics can perform these procedures, but for someone with some dysmorphia, their happiness doesn’t improve. The same can happen for those embarrassed about their smile, which often leaves them to seek out certain treatments from cosmetic dentists, including:

  • Tooth Whitening: Tooth whitening procedures are medically unnecessary procedures, as yellow teeth are considered highly natural. However, tooth whitening procedures are considered one of the most popular forms of cosmetic treatment today. 
  • Gingival Contouring: Gingival contouring is only often used when the gums become too large that they interfere with the tooth’s enamel. In these situations, gum contouring helps remove excess gum to help provide room for the teeth and provide people with better ways to brush their teeth. 
  • Enamel Contouring: Enamel contouring works similarly to gum contouring, as it’s often used to remove smaller portions of the enamel to provide a prep area for restorative treatments such as enamel bonding. However, enamel contouring is mostly used to make repairs to a tooth that’s been severely impacted by decay or trauma. 
  • Microabrasion: Microabrasions have often been used to prep the tooth for veneers, as veneers help protect weakened enamel from bacteria and decay. However, it is also used as a cosmetic treatment to correct aesthetic appearances. 

Contact Your General Dentist For Dental Treatment

While all of these treatments can be great ways to improve your appearance, these treatments can also become an unhealthy obsession for those with smile dysmorphia. If you suffer from any form of mental illness, seeking mental health counseling can help you treat your negative self image and smile dysmorphia. If you still feel like your smile can be improved, then visiting your local dentist for more information can be the best resource for finding a smile that you can love.