BRONX, N.Y. — If constantly wearing a mask during the pandemic has had you missing the smiles, you’re not alone.
What You Need To Know
- Mask wearing encouraged people who might otherwise feel self-conscious to get dental work done on their teeth and smile
- A recent One Pulse Survey of Americans 18 to 64 years old found that nearly 60% were looking forward to seeing people smile again, 87% expressed a desire for whiter teeth, while 81% had a desire for straighter teeth
- Jerreth Smith of the Bronx fixed a gap in his teeth during the pandemic and feels happier and more confident as a result
A recent One Pulse Survey of Americans 18 to 64 years old found that nearly 60% were looking forward to seeing people smile again, 87% expressed a desire for whiter teeth, while 81% had a desire for straighter teeth.
The pandemic even encouraged one young man from the Bronx to take action to improve his smile, while boosting his self-confidence.
“You see, I don’t smile as much because I don’t really want to show off my teeth,” said Jerreth Smith of Wakefield in the Bronx, as he looked at old pictures of himself.
Those pictures reminded him of a dark time when he felt uncomfortable, self-conscious, and unhappy, due to a gap in his teeth.
“I see a man that wants to have confidence but can’t behind he keeps seeing something that is hindering him,” Smith said.
But now, just over a year after he visited a Smile Direct Club in the Flatiron District for a consultation, the beaming 23-year-old smiles a lot.
Smith says with so many people wearing masks during the pandemic, he felt the timing was perfect to straighten his teeth, without feeling self-conscious.
“Even when I was talking, like working, I had my mask with me,” said Smith. "Which helped prevent people from seeing my mouth, especially with the retainer in your mouth! Sometimes the retainer may fall off a little bit or slip down in your mouth a little bit, and you can imagine when you’re talking, it can get really embarrassing."
Smile Direct Club says while lockdowns were in place demand for its teeth whitening products jumped 76%.
The company says request for teeth straightening aligners also went up during the pandemic, which contributed to second quarter net revenue going up 23% over last year.
“It’s been an interesting phenomenon,” said Dr. Jeffrey Sulitzer, Chief Clinical Officer for Smile Direct Club. “But about nine months ago, we saw people interested in improving their personal experiences, their health. They started eating better and part of that in improving themselves, was to improve their smile.”
Smith is feeling grateful for his newfound confidence.
“Now I smile so much more,” he said. “I’m so confident to show off my teeth. I can’t wait to take my mask off and say, hi everybody!”