According to a new study conducted by the Oral Health Foundation, nearly one in five children say they dislike their smile and almost one in eight children experience bad dreams about their oral health.
The study was carried out as part of National Smile Month, collected data from around 1,500 British parents. It revealed that 18% of children under five told their parents that they didn’t like their own smile, while 12% of children are more than 10 times more likely to have nightmares than adults about their teeth.
On top of this 47% of children expressed anxieties and worries to their parents regarding their oral health. This is demonstrating that younger children are now becoming more aware of their appearance and their teeth than previous generations of children.
Many child psychologists believe this is to do with the increased use of technology such as screens, television and social media. While nightmares are common in the 3 to 5 year old age group, what they experience during waking hours will influence their dreams.
As younger children are exposed to more social media and television, having a good smile represents what is normal to them, so if their teeth don’t look perfect it can create insecurities.
Parents are advised to talk with their family dentist should their children voice concerns about their smile. Booking an appointment for an oral examination and a chat from a profession dentist can help to reassure children about their smile and their developing teeth.
If there are real concerns or issues, your dentist can discuss the use of braces or aligners to help your children’s teeth to come through straight and avoid dental issues further down the line.