If you have suffered one or more damaged teeth, you might be limiting the amount of smiling that you do. This can happen even when you’re enjoying a pleasurable experience,which means that your tooth trauma is actually keeping you from enjoying many of the good things in life. A recently published study on children with tooth trauma highlights how tooth trauma keeps you from smiling, and shows the importance of getting your tooth trauma repaired.
Children Enjoying Cartoons
This study looked at 58 children, ages 5-15, 29 of whom had suffered tooth trauma in their front teeth, and 29 of whom had suffered no trauma. They talked to the children and their parents about their smiles. The kids and parents were both asked to rate the amount of impact the tooth injury had on factors like the amount they smiled or how good they felt about their smile. It was found that the amount of tooth damage was significantly correlated with subjective ratings of a child’s smile, both by the child and by their parents.
Then the children were asked to wear a set of glasses with a built-in smile measurement scale while they watched cartoons. As the child watched the cartoon, they were taped, and at 25 predetermined points in the cartoon, still images were extracted from the video and the child’s smile was compared to the scale on the glasses.
Researchers found that the kids didn’t give reliable assessments of their own smiles, but when their parents reported that their smile had been affected, the children gave smaller smiles and showed fewer teeth.
Do You Know If Your Smiling Is Affected?
On the one hand, we might say that the children don’t report their smile as being affected because they’re just children. On the other hand, it’s probably true that none of us really realize how much our smile is affected when we suffer damage to one or more teeth. But our loved ones see it.
If you have the courage to ask (and they have the courage to answer truthfully!), you’ll probably find that you smile less often, less broadly, and with fewer teeth showing than other people because you have a chipped tooth, discolored tooth, or missing tooth.
Fortunately, you don’t have to live with a damaged tooth. Instead, we can use porcelain veneers to cover up damaged or discolored teeth, and dental implants can replace a lost tooth, even if it’s been years since it was lost.