With the arrival of the ‘net and social media, the influence of our public image has increased in importance. With Instagram, Snapchat, TikTok, Twitter, and the mother of social media, Facebook, more people consider their appearance. The feeling of being outclassed by all the beautiful images online is common. So common that it’s become formally known as “Smile Dysmorphia” or “Snapchat Dysmorphia .” The former refers to a malformed concept of our smile, in particular. The latter is a more general poor image of ourselves when compared to Snapchat. These concerns directly result from selfie culture and are being seen more commonly in dental practices.
Evolving Beauty Standards And Snapchat Dysmorphia
It’s a common trait for younger people to be particularly susceptible to impressionability. Now more than ever, teenagers are being exposed to more unrealistic images of themselves, but they aren’t alone. A substantial portion of the population uses social media to connect with others, entertain themselves, or promote themselves. While this is a new phenomenon to many, today’s teenagers were born into a world with the internet and social media. The overall effects haven’t been entirely positive.
Snapchat Dysmorphia is spreading rapidly, with an increasing rate of diagnosis being found in the mental health community. This condition has led to many seeking out plastic surgeons and cosmetic dentists with the goal of hand-crafting their perfect image of themselves. However, these perceptions are often based on filters that create unrealistic goals. Our perception of our appearance can profoundly affect our self-esteem, making this a concerning trend.
There are numerous cosmetic dental treatments available for those with a healthy self-image that simply want to enhance their dental appearance. Among the available treatments can be found:
- Tooth Whitening – Available both in-office and in over-the-counter varieties, this treatment can help brighten stained or discolored teeth. Tooth whitening cannot treat some forms of staining with an OTC approach, so a consultation is necessary.
- Gingival Contouring – Some patients are unhappy with the appearance of their gums. When this is due to a feeling that they have too much gingival tissue, options are available. Surgical and laser techniques are used to reduce the amount of visible gum.
- Enamel Contouring – In some cases, it’s possible to remove minimal amounts of enamel from the teeth without harm. This treatment can improve the shape, surface appearance, and length of teeth.
- Microabrasion – In cases where traditional teeth whitening methods prove ineffective. This process reduces a minimal amount of enamel to eliminate staining. Typically only a few tenths of a millimeter are eliminated.
Each procedure listed above is generally seen as safe when performed by a dental professional. The most important part of seeking out these treatments is ensuring proper expectations.
Consult Your Dentist About Your Cosmetic Concerns
Smile and Snapchat Dysmorphia can lead to some dangerous choices for those affected. Their steps may result in lasting damage to the teeth, creating the need for costly repairs to return a normal smile. If you’re concerned you or someone you love may be overly concerned with their appearance due to these conditions, seek help from a mental health professional. You can also call your dental provider to receive a consultation and determine if your dentist can address your concerns safely.