The Benefits of Smiling

Many people do not like to be told, “you should smile more!” However, did you know there are far reaching benefits to smiling outside of the perception of happiness? The fact is smiling more will not only improve your appearance but will also present several key health and wellness benefits. When you smile, you can expect to experience:

Boost Your Mood

Scientific research has confirmed that smiling activates neurotransmitters in the brain that are responsible for the positive feelings we feel inside of us all. When you smile, dopamine, endorphins and serotonin are all released and evoke instant feelings of happiness. Besides acting as a mood lifter, the neurotransmitters have a relaxing effect on the entire body and work as a natural pain reliever. Smiling can also help alleviate any nerves you may be feeling and boosts confidence. As an example, when you are about to give a big presentation at work, you will feel poised and capable as you smile out at your colleagues.

Share the Happiness

You may have heard that smiling is contagious. Smiling is meant to reflect the positive feelings you have inside. You may feel good about something and a smile erupts on your face involuntary. This could happen when you observe your child acting silly or see a sweet commercial on TV.  Smiles are also used as a greeting. A smile can be a social cue to greet friends and neighbors to show you are approachable. Smiling will make you feel content and will simultaneously spread those feelings of happiness to those around you.

Research has confirmed that happiness can be spread through smiling. During a 2002 study published in the “Scandinavian Journal of Psychology,” subjects were asked to frown at photographs shown to them, but instead participants would automatically smile when shown images of those with happy facial expressions.

Alleviate Blood Pressure and Stress

The relaxing effects of smiling will have a positive effect on your cardiovascular health. Smiling will lower your heart rate and reduce your blood pressure temporarily. The production of the stress hormone cortisol will decrease as well. Moreover, you don’t have to involuntarily smile to reap these effects. Researchers at the University of Kansas found forcing a smile will also benefit heart health. During the study, participants were able to recover from episodes of stress at a faster rate with smiling—even when the smiling was forced.

Improve Perception

We all want to feel and look our best. When you are smiling, you are putting your best “face” forward. The people around you will find you more attractive when you have a smile on your face. A 2011 study conducted at the Face Research Laboratory in Scotland asked participants to rate the attractiveness of images of people. Both men and women who made eye contact and smile were considered more attractive by the subjects.

Regain Smile Confidence

Although we all may want to share our smile more, our confidence about the way our teeth look could be causing smile shyness. A healthy smile will help us look our best. Cosmetic dental issues such as crooked teeth and tooth discoloration may cause you to hide away your smile. The good news is that the following solutions will rebuild your smile confidence and get you grinning from ear-to-ear once again.

Cleanings

Improving your smile can start with attending regular checkups at your dentist. A dentist will examine your teeth to look for any issues like tooth decay that may eventually affect the way your smile looks. Your regular checkup includes a teeth cleaning performed by a dental hygienist. The hygienist will remove plaque buildup and polish the surface of your teeth to instantly improve the appearance of your smile.

Repairing Teeth

Broken or missing teeth have a direct effect on your smile confidence. Tooth fillings and porcelain crowns are two types of materials used to fix teeth that have been damaged. Dental implants are used to replace missing or severely damaged teeth. A dental surgeon implants an artificial root inside the jaw to mount a replacement tooth or a dental bridge.

Teeth Whitening

Although over-the-counter whitening products are available at local pharmacies, professional teeth whitening done at a dental office will have longer lasting results. Whitening sessions from providers like Modern Family Dental Care will remove staining with noticeable results lasting from six months to a year.

Invisalign

Crooked teeth can make you feel self-conscious about your smile. Although you may want to straighten your teeth, the idea of having metal braces doesn’t sound appealing. With Invisalign, transparent aligners are used instead of traditional braces. A specialized thermoplastic clear material makes the devices “invisible” inside of the mouth. With short treatment times finished in as little as nine months, you will feel good about the appearance of your smile quicker than ever.

Once you’re ready to reap the benefits of smiling, contact the team of Modern Family Dental Care for assistance. Our compassionate and friendly team of professionals is available to ease all your concerns as we develop a care plan and begin treatment. Contact us today and schedule an appointment at one of our Charlotte dental offices.

Written by Dr. Taj

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