Do you have selfie teeth?

You’re so vain, you probably think this piece is about you


There are several types of selfie. There is the faux-ironic style in which you deflect the vanity with a quippy caption; there is the “wacky” one, in which you waggle a tongue suggestively, or brandish a novelty accessory. There are selfies with “this one” (platonic or romantic bae); there are group selfies. But each is united by its  objective: to present yourself as fun and – chiefly – attractive. Note that no one looks ugly in a “wacky” selfie; no one uploads the #thisone picture in which they look inferior to their co-star.

If you don’t got it, get it: this week, Dr Tim Bradstock-Smith, clinical director of the London Smile Clinic (that thing you’ve seen on the Tube) reported a 30 per cent rise in people “sending in selfies with concerns about their front teeth”, with a view to seeking treatment. While the metrics are opaque, he insists that his clinic discourages two to three people a week from treatment on their front teeth. It’s caused some (teeth) chattering.

Work those angles, POTUS

Work those angles, POTUS

Like your brief attention span, death of traditional friendships and most types of cancer, probably, it’s all your smartphone’s fault. Most phones are fitted with a camera lens that exaggerates – slightly – whatever is in the forefront of the picture. Most of the time, this will be your teeth.

Clearly, it’s vain. Considering getting your teeth fixed because you think you look a bit horsey in one selfie shows a sort of astonishing detachment from reality. It also exemplifies a shift in how we perceive ourselves – namely, through the lenses of phones and third parties on social networks. On the other hand, that’s where we live now – on the internet, and in the eyes of others. If you want to get Dr Bradstock-Smith to tinker with your teeth, then on your own mouth be it.

If that’s unrealistic – perhaps consider readjusting your poses. Think you’re looking a bit toothy? Stick your chin down – the camera will distort your nose instead! Looking a bit nose-y? Turn your face to the side and throw a bit of ear centre-stage! Worried you’ve got ears like Prince Charles? Probably just throw all your hair over your face like Cousin It!

Insecurities can continue ad infinitum. Just slap a filter on it and get on with your life.