Have you ever wondered why dentists and other dental and oral health professionals spend so much time talking about your smile? Shouldn’t they focus more on your teeth?
As dental health professionals, we know that your oral health affects a whole lot more than just your teeth. You may think your smile is just another way to communicate your happiness, but we know it does so much more than that. Smiling regularly can improve your mood and even your health. But when you hide your smile because you are embarrassed of crooked, chipped, or cracked teeth, you not only miss out on all of the benefits of smiling, but your self-esteem and confidence plummet as well.
Benefits of Smiling
Smiling — even when you may not feel like it — provides some surprising benefits. The following are just a few.
Healthier Heart. According to a study published in Psychological Science, smiling helps you recover from stress and upset. Researchers found that participants who smiled during a stressful situation had a lower heart rate when recovering. Smiling is also credited for lowering blood pressure. The more you smile, the less likely you are to develop heart disease.
Makes You Happy. The act of smiling releases endorphins. If you’ve ever gone running or worked out, then you’ve probably experienced the elation brought on by endorphins (also known as a runner’s high). When your body releases endorphins, your mood is naturally elevated.
Reduces Stress. Those endorphins that make you feel happy also reduce stress. Between the endorphins and the lower heart rate, you could feel downright calm and cool, even when life’s intensity starts to heat up.
Improves Relationships. Study after study has shown that people are more likely to trust someone with a genuine smile. Feeling connected to others is key to enjoying an enriched life. The more you smile, the more likely you are to form close, lasting relationships with others.
Minimizes Pain. Those endorphins that smiling and laughing release have been shown to reduce pain significantly, in some cases up to 40%.
Smiling Is Contagious. When you smile, approximately 50% of the time people smile back. There is an area in your brain that is responsible for your facial expressions, and as it turns out, the act of mimicking someone else’s smile is an unconscious automatic response. In fact, one Swedish study found it takes effort to frown when you see someone else smiling. So when you smile, you are spreading all of the benefits that come along with smiling to everyone who smiles back. Way to pay it forward!
How We Can Help You Smile
As your oral health provider, your overall health and happiness is our primary concern. We understand that if you aren’t smiling, then you aren’t receiving all of the benefits from our services that are available to you. If your teeth are keeping you from smiling, we have a suite of services that can fix a wide variety of conditions.
Dental Implants. Implants offer a permanent solution for missing teeth. Not only do they look and feel like natural teeth, they also maintain your facial structure and integrity.
Crowns. Porcelain crowns are the perfect restoration for cracked, chipped, or broken teeth. These natural-looking covers make imperfections in teeth entirely unnoticeable.
Teeth Whitening. We offer both at-home and in-office treatment options using the most effective teeth-whitening systems available today. All treatment options are simple and noninvasive.
Porcelain Veneers. These ultrathin, tooth-colored coverings are custom made and are fit to the front surface of your teeth, changing the appearance to the size and shape you desire. Veneers are perfect for fixing discolored and chipped teeth.
Straightening. Straightening your smile no longer requires years of wearing metal wires on your teeth. There are a variety of “invisible” straightening options, such as Six Month Smiles® and Invisalign®, which allow you to have a straighter, more aesthetically pleasing smile in a matter of months.
We are also here to help you with your routine oral hygiene so that your mouth feels as good as it looks.
If you find yourself holding back from smiling and laughing because of how you feel about your teeth, call us today to find out more about how we can help you feel better, live healthier, and smile more.
1. Kraft TL, Pressman SD. Grin and bear it: the influence of manipulated facial expression on the stress response. Psychological Science 2012;23:1372–1378.
2. Sonnby–Borgström, M. Automatic mimicry reactions as related to differences in emotional empathy. Scandinavian Journal of Psychology 2002;43:433–443.