What Do Your Teeth Say About You?
More than you think.
While our eyes may be windows into our soul, our teeth are a window into practically everything. Our teeth reveal far more than we think about us — from health, age, gender, and even personality type. Welcome to the wild world of teeth as soothsayers (no clairvoyance needed). Our habits, lifestyle, and wallet all make an indelible mark on our teeth — here are some ways that our life expresses itself in our bite.
Age is just a number, and our teeth know what it is. Younger teeth tend to be more rectangular. Young people's central incisors have more rounded corners, while the same teeth are shorter and more square in older people. Why? Because the average human loses between 1 to 5 millimeters of their tooth length throughout their lifetime.
Sex is a topic our teeth know something about. No, not that kind of sex — our biological sex. Individuals who are biologically female tend to have central incisors (aka front two teeth) that are longer than the lateral incisors on each side and are typically more rounded at the end. Biologically male individuals’ lateral incisors, however, tend to be longer, with a more square shape. Smiles keep getting more interesting, right?
Teeth as a predictor of future mental health? Tooth enamel functions like a fossil in our mouths, recording a history of our body and experiences. Researchers can now infer information from a child’s teeth about whether they are likely to develop mental illness. And in older people, teeth can reveal if there has been exposure to heavy metals and whether there is a high risk for developing Alzheimer’s.
Have you ever heard the adage, "a smile is worth a thousand personality traits?” Probably not, but it’s true. While our teeth are busy making statements about our health and hygiene — they are also an indicator of your personality type!
People with a tendency towards aggression often have pointier, more pronounced canine teeth that protrude past their lateral incisors. Similar to those with anxious personalities, aggressive folks are also prone to grinding or gnashing their teeth. They may also brush their teeth too hard, perhaps due to being impatient.
Stressed and anxious? Chances are that you're a habitual teeth grinder. Teeth grinding is a classic symptom of feelings of stress, anxiety, or anger. Here’s why that’s a bad thing — chronic teeth grinding (technical term: bruxism) can lead to cracked teeth, and in more severe cases, loosening or even loss of teeth! Grinding can wear away the surface of your teeth, which is why folks with this personality type tend to have quite small teeth. Other pesky complications from grinding include headaches, jaw disorders, and sometimes even hearing loss. If you find yourself gnashing chronically, talk to your dentist about ways to get this destructive habit in check.
Ice chewing. Jaw clenching. And yes, teeth grinding. All are hallmarks of a competitive personality. Also, if you play sports, you may view protective dental gear like mouth guards with a dismissive attitude. But if you want to keep your smile looking good, you may want to reconsider — especially if you play hockey.
Party Animal Personality
Being the life of the party may be the death of your teeth. Excessive drinking, smoking, mouth piercings, and indulging in large amounts of fizzy, carbonated drinks can take a real toll on teeth. And if you have a grinding issue, all these things can also amp up the grinding intensity. An easy way to keep the stains and damage at bay? Maintain good dental hygiene habits.
Are you a laissez-faire kind of person who likes to take things easy and is rarely stressed out? You likely have flatter canine teeth with curvier tips. Some habits to be on the lookout for include: mindless munching, ice chewing, and drinking loads of carbonated bevvies. If this sounds like you, work to establish some limits to preserve your dental health (and waistline).
Now that you know some of the secrets your teeth can reveal about you, we bet you’ll see your smile differently the next time you look in the mirror!