Influence of malocclusion on social perceptions of adolescents at public and private schools
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To determine whether malocclusion influences adolescents’ perception when judging their colleagues from the aspects of athletics, social and health status, leadership and academic skills.
Front view photographs of the smile of eight adolescent volunteers (non-ideal smile) were altered to create an image with aligned teeth (ideal smile). Two parallel groups were programmed with the subjects’ photographs. When the image of an ideal smile of one of the subjects appeared in one of the groups, the image of the non-ideal appeared in the other. Two hundred adolescents were evaluators, half of the students being from private and half from public schools. They classified the group images indicating their social perception with respect to skills in sports, leadership, academic activities, popularity and the health conditions of each subject.
The majority of photographs of subjects with an ideal smile were evaluated as being better when compared with photographs of the non-ideal smile. The differences in the evaluations between the ideal and non-ideal smiles were significant for the perception of popularity, intelligence, leadership capability and health, differently from the performance in sports, as this aspect did not attain statistical relevance.
Malocclusion has influence on the perception of adolescents of different social levels when judging youngsters with or without malocclusion from the aspects of athletics, social and health status, leadership and academic skills.
KeywordsDental aesthetics Social perception Students Malocclusion
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