Sir, social media and the fashion industry are regularly regarded as having an impact on mental health and perceptions of what is attractive. It has become easier to compare and idolise celebrities, models and influencers with 'perfect' dentitions. This can be seen by the growth in demand for straighter, whiter teeth.
However, fashion brands with high visibility on social media now appear to be acknowledging the diversity in dentitions amongst the population. This has been shown in recent lipstick advertisements by Gucci centred around a model with hypodontia, resulting in missing lateral incisors. Furthermore, large brands such as Urban Outfitters, Primark and MAC cosmetics have used a model with a missing central incisor as a result of trauma. Models with a midline diastema have been used regularly and this has been reflected with the potential positive outcome to change the public's perceptions.1
It is important to consider patients holistically. For some, there may be a detrimental long-term impact of trauma or hypodontia on patients' confidence and psychosocial wellbeing, affecting overall quality of life.2 The push from large companies to show a wider range of models indicates a progressive portrayal of what is deemed desirable, evidencing the positive impact social media and fashion brands can have. These campaigns may be beneficial to those affected, helping to change the public's perceptions on what is deemed the 'perfect smile'.
Anari S. Aesthetic dentistry: Changing public perceptions. Br Dent J 2017; 223: 390.
Azami-Aghdash S, Azar F E, Azar F P et al. Prevalence, etiology, and types of dental trauma in children and adolescents: systematic review and meta-analysis. Med J Islam Repub Iran 2015; 29: 234.
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Bell, J., Winstanley, D. & Coulthard, F. Fashionable dentitions . Br Dent J 229, 637 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41415-020-2419-4