This year, make a resolution to achieve a healthy smile by visiting your trusted family dentist and following these oral hygiene tips between visits.
Smiles are powerful, aren’t they? When someone smiles at you, it’s hard not to feel a little better about your day. In fact, studies have shown that smiling really is contagious—when we smile, we benefit everyone around us by making it easier for them to do the same. There are actually quite a few benefits associated with smiling that people don’t tend to consider. So next time someone tells you to turn that frown upside down—annoying as that is—they may just have a point!
Relieve Aches And Pains
One more corny smiling saying that we’ve all heard (the last one, we promise!): laughter is the best medicine. It’s a fun idiom for everyday life, but like all great sayings, there’s truth in it, too. When we smile, our brain actually releases endorphins, natural painkillers that help relieve minor aches and pains throughout the body. We don’t even have to be responding to something genuinely funny—just the physical act of forming a smile can “trick” the brain into producing those chemicals.
Boost Your Mood
Speaking of feel-good brain chemicals, smiling also releases dopamine and serotonin, two neurotransmitters responsible for feelings of positivity and happiness. A University of Cardiff study found that facial expressions, including smiling, can boost your mood and bring about more positive thoughts. In fact, participants who had received Botox injections that physically reduced their ability to frown reported less symptoms of anxiety, stress, and depression—and it wasn’t just that they thought they looked better. Simply smiling more helped boost their moods!
Smiling can’t turn back time, but it can help you look younger than you are. A study published in Psychology and Aging showed that people perceive smiling faces as younger than frowning or neutral ones. When participants looked at pictures of happy faces and guessed the ages of the people in the photo, they consistently guessed a younger age when compared with the same person in an angry or neutral expression. So go on and smile big in your dating profile photo—we won’t give away your secret!
Strengthen Your Immune System
The mind-body connection is a lot more robust than we might realize. When we’re in a healthy mental state, we put ourselves in a healthier physical state as well. And just as smiling releases dopamine, that dopamine helps trigger our immune system to produce more immune cells and infection-fighting antibodies. Simply lifting the corners of our mouths can get us started, even if it feels a little forced at first. Along with regular germ-fighting practices, adding a smile can help you prepare for cold and flu season or even recover from childbirth!
Lower Your Blood Pressure
We mean it when we say that oral health is part of your overall well being, and heart health is something that smiling can help with, too. When we smile or laugh, we provide our bodies with an immediate influx of oxygen and speed up our heart rate. After this period of heightened heart activity, our muscles begin to relax and our heart rate drops back down—taking our blood pressure back down with it. Even a little bit of laughter can lower your risk of developing heart disease—think of it like high interval intensity training for your stress response.
Self-Conscious About Your Smile?
The benefits of smiling are clearly extensive, but a lot of people feel self-conscious about their grins. Having damaged, stained, misaligned, or missing teeth can cause us to hide our smiles away or stop smiling altogether. But there’s no reason to keep restraining those pearly whites—call Dr. Dastrup today to see how cosmetic dentistry can provide you with the smile makeover you deserve.
Dr. Dastrup can help you achieve the perfect smile
Dastrup Dental, a leading family and cosmetic dentistry practice in Davidson, NC, can help you to achieve the perfect smile. You know the benefits of smiling, so all you need is a friendly and experienced dentist who can help you win back your confidence. Give us a call today at (704) 892-6602 to get started, or request a virtual smile consultation.