Social Media Effect on Self-Esteem of Teens Getting Orthodontics


In today’s digital world, where likes, comments, and followers hold immense power, social media has intertwined itself with every aspect of our lives. From scrolling through picture-perfect feeds to discovering new trends, it has become integral to how we communicate, express ourselves, and even seek validation. But as we delve deeper into the realm of social media, a startling realisation emerges – its unexpected impact on the self-esteem of teens getting orthodontics.

If you are considering orthodontic treatment, schedule an assessment with an orthodontist for teens in Sydney, Australia, today.

Why Orthodontic Care Is Important for Teenagers

Teen orthodontics focuses on correcting dental misalignments and bite issues. Orthodontic treatment for teens can provide several benefits, including:

  • Enhancing facial aesthetics and self-confidence
  • Promoting better oral hygiene and reducing dental problems risks
  • Improving speech and chewing function

The Relationship between Social Media Use and Self-Esteem in Teens

Social media use among teenagers increases anxiety and lower self-esteem, with concerns about indirect communication, cyberbullying, and the “imposter syndrome.” As a result, young adults are seeking ways to improve their appearance and gain social validation. The rise of the “selfie culture” also contributes to an obsession with having the perfect smile.

How Can Orthodontic Posts Impact Teens’ Self-Esteem? Pros and Cons

The rise of orthodontic-related content on social media platforms is a growing trend, reflecting the broader societal infatuation with the ‘perfect smile’. These platforms are increasingly populated with posts detailing orthodontic journeys, showcasing the transformation from uneven smiles to beautifully aligned ones. Orthodontic posts can impact teen’s self-esteem positively and negatively.

The Pros of Orthodontic-Related Posts

1. Building a Supportive Community

Orthodontic posts are that they help create a supportive community for teens undergoing treatment. Through these platforms, teenagers can connect with others on a similar journey, alleviating feelings of isolation or self-consciousness from wearing braces or aligners.

2. Educational Value

Orthodontic posts often feature before-and-after photos, time-lapse videos, and informative captions detailing the different treatment options available. This educational content helps teenagers understand the process better, making them more likely to adhere to their treatment plan.

3. Empowerment and Confidence

Seeing the positive changes in their smile and the smiles of others can boost teenagers’ self-esteem. It gives them a sense of empowerment, knowing they are taking control of their oral health and appearance. This newfound confidence can also extend to other areas of their lives, such as school and social interactions.

4. Inspiration for Others

Seeing the transformation of others can motivate other teenagers who may be hesitant or unsure about seeking orthodontic treatment to take action to improve their oral health.

5. Awareness of Orthodontic Treatment Essentiality

Many teenagers may not realise the potential long-term effects of having misaligned teeth, such as difficulty cleaning and increased risk of dental problems. Seeing others go through the process and experience positive results can highlight the essentiality of orthodontic treatment for maintaining good oral health.

The Cons of Orthodontic-Related Posts

1. Insecurities, Self-Comparison, and Envy

Comparing yourself to others on social media can be damaging and cause insecurities in teenagers who may feel like their teeth are not ‘good enough’. This unhealthy comparison can create unrealistic expectations and foster feelings of envy towards those who have achieved straighter smiles.

2. Negative Comments and Cyberbullying

Orthodontic posts also have a risk of negative comments and cyberbullying. People may leave hurtful or judgmental comments about someone’s appearance or treatment journey, leading to feelings of self-doubt and lowered self-esteem.

3. Peer Pressure among Teenagers

Along with the pressure to have a perfect smile, orthodontic posts can contribute to peer pressure among teenagers. Seeing others undergoing treatment and showing off their results can create a sense of competition and the need to conform to society’s beauty standards.

4. Distraction from Treatment

The constant scrolling and comparing on social media can remove the focus from the actual orthodontic treatment. This distraction can lead to neglecting oral hygiene routine or not following the instructions of the teen’s orthodontist, ultimately hindering their treatment progress.

5. Privacy and Security Implications

Sharing personal information and photos online always comes with privacy and security concerns. It can reveal a teenager’s identity, location, and treatment details, potentially making them vulnerable to cyber threats or unwanted attention.

The Influence of Likes, Comments, and Followers

On top of the impact of orthodontic posts, there is also the added pressure of likes, comments, and followers on a teen’s self-esteem. The number of likes, positive or negative comments, and followers can all affect how teens perceive themselves.


The number of likes someone receives on their post can affect them positively or negatively. Not receiving many “likes” can lead to feelings of inadequacy or questioning the quality of their content. On the other hand, receiving a high number of “likes” can boost self-esteem and validate one’s worth in their social circle.


Reading negative comments on posts, whether about a person’s appearance or treatment journey, can hurt and harm one’s self-esteem. Positive comments, on the other hand, can uplift and boost confidence.


The number of followers or friends a teenager has on their social media accounts can also influence their self-perception. Having many followers can make someone feel validated and popular, while having fewer followers may make them question their likeability and social status.


The impact of social media on teenagers’ self-esteem is complex, with both positive and negative implications. While these platforms can provide educational value, empowerment, and inspiration, they also have the potential to foster insecurities, peer pressure, and distractions from treatment.

It’s important to balance using social media to connect and learn while prioritising one’s mental health and well-being. So, teenagers should use these platforms in moderation and remember that likes, comments, or followers do not determine their self-worth.


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