5 June 2018

Three in four Brits either like or love their smile, according to the results of a new nationwide survey.1

The poll, carried out by the Oral Health Foundation, found that more than half (55%) of those interviewed were highly positive about their smile while nearly one in five (18%) displayed an even greater love for it.   

The charity questioned more than 1,300 adults in the United Kingdom to investigate how positively people feel about their smile and how healthy they believe their mouth is.

Results also showed a strong connection between people believing they have good oral health and feeling confident about their smile.

In the clear majority of cases, those who said liked their smile deemed themselves as having good oral health while those who love their smile believe they have excellent oral health. Similarly, those who do not like their smile consider themselves to have poorer oral health. 

Dr Nigel Carter OBE, Chief Executive of the Oral Health Foundation, says there is a clear correlation between the health of the mouth and a person’s confidence in to show off their smile.

Dr Carter says: “Many people view good oral health as an important factor in their overall appearance, and in most cases, the health of the mouth can play a significant role in a person’s confidence to smile.

“This is most likely because a healthy smile often translates to an attractive smile and this will make a person feel better about themselves.

“A smile communicates a sign of friendship, trust and acceptability.  As these are things most people strive towards, it means that taking good care of the mouth is incredibly important.”

Further results from the survey show that men are more likely to like their smile (80%) compared with women (67%) while those aged between 25-34 are the most self-confident when it come to their smile.

In the list UK cities where residents view their smile positively, Oxford comes top (86%) while those living in Birmingham (85%), London (82%), York (76%) and Sheffield (72%) also feature highly.

At the other end of the scale, Aberdeen is the place where locals are most likely to view their smile negatively. More than one in two (53%) people from the Scottish city do not like their smile, followed by those in Nottingham (43%), Bristol (42%), Coventry (39%) and Leeds (38%).

Dr Carter adds: “Poor gum health, crooked teeth, stained teeth and missing teeth are some of the problems that can prevent people from smiling with confidence. Low self-esteem and lack of confidence can cause a person to become withdrawn and depressed as they may feel uncomfortable smiling, talking, eating in public and meeting new people. 

“Emotional problems can cause eating disorders to develop and both bulimia and anorexia can lead to dental problems such as erosion that may need cosmetic dentistry to rectify.  The stress that causes people to overeat can also contribute to the neglect of oral care which can lead to gum disease and tooth decay and the loss of an attractive smile.”

The look into how Brits view their smile is part of National Smile Month, a charity campaign which aims to promote the importance of good oral health while communicating the value of a healthy smile.

“A healthy mouth plays an incredibly important role in a person’s physical and mental health. It has also been found to have a positive effect on a person’s relationships and careers too,” adds Dr Carter.

“Having good oral health can also help prevent or manage a number of wider health problems such as heart disease, strokes, diabetes, premature births and respiratory disease.”

For a healthy mouth, the Oral Health Foundation advises that you should brush your teeth last thing at night and at one other time during the day with a fluoride toothpaste.

During National Smile Month, the charity is also keen to highlight the importance of cutting down on how much sugary foods and drinks you have and how often you have them, as well as encouraging regular dental visits. 

Health experts also advise cleaning between your teeth with an interdental brush once a day while chewing sugar free gum can also be helpful to neutralise plaque acid build-up throughout the day.

National Smile Month is being supported by some of the nation’s best known oral health brands, including Oral-B, Wrigley, Philips, Regenerate Enamel Science, Polo® Sugar Free and Curaprox.

For more information about how you can participate in National Smile Month, click on the links below... 


1. Oral Health Foundation (2018) ‘National Smile Month 2018 United Kingdom Survey’, Atomik Research, Survey, April 2018, Sample 2,005