Selfies have taken over the world. It’s hard not to go anywhere without having to sidestep someone who is posing in front of their phone, or having to avoid an enthusiastically brandished selfie-stick. Likewise, we can’t log onto Facebook or Twitter without seeing someone’s face – usually displayed in front of a famous landmark, or posing alongside their dinner.
The popularity of this craze is undoubtedly due to the way technology has progressed: smartphones that include a forward-facing camera are now ubiquitous, allowing almost everyone around the world to take a good selfie.
There has also been some interesting research undertaken into the trends of selfie-taking, which show that the vast majority of selfies focus on the left-hand side of the taker. This behaviour is suggestive of an asymmetry in brain lateralisation – something which is well documented in cognitive neuroscience and is present in photos and paintings going back hundreds of years. While the reasons for this are yet to be fully understood, it is believed that the left side of the face is controlled by the right-hand side of the brain, which is responsible for emotions. This makes the left side of the face more expressive and, thus, many people consider this side their ‘better side’
This is where selfies have garnered the most criticism, since many believe that there is a link between a propensity for selfie-taking and body dysmorphic disorder. Indeed, it has been reported that some people take hundreds, even thousands of selfies every day, in order to produce what they perceive as the perfect image of themselves.
In relation to this, it is also believed that selfie-culture has increased the demand for facial aesthetic procedures – including cosmetic dental treatments. By putting their faces on display so readily, people are more aware of criticism – both from their audience and from themselves. As such, they want to look their best at all times and many see cosmetic work as the way to do this.
In terms of dental treatments, this is usually tooth whitening. Unfortunately, however, many people still do not realise that this kind of treatment must only be carried out by a registered professional – and continue to put themselves at risk by accepting whitening treatments from unlicensed and illegal providers.
As such, it is important that dental professionals do everything they can to ensure that patients are aware of the legal situation when it comes to tooth whitening – and of the dangerous ramifications of getting substandard treatment.
Of course, one of the main factors that deters patients from seeking tooth whitening from their dentists is the perceived price. But this does not need to be the barrier that many people think it is, because dental professionals can offer hard to beat offers on this type of treatment. This includes Munroe Sutton’s Healthy Discounts scheme, which gives patients a 20 per cent discount on tooth whitening, as well as a range of other treatments.
For more information please call 0808 234 3558
or visit www.munroesutton.co.uk
 The Daily Mail: Is your left side your best side? Published online February 2014; link: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2556689/Is-left-best-People-pose-photo-position-brain-makes-half-expressive.html [accessed 19/09/16]
 The Telegraph: Rise of the selfie leads to huge increase in people seeking dental work. Published online: February 2016; link: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/health/news/12135936/Rise-of-the-selfie-leads-to-people-seeking-dental-work-to-correct-horsey-teeth.html [accessed 19/09/16]