The Benefits of Smiling

January 6, 2022
Avatar for Dr. MingusDr. Mingus

How many times do you smile throughout the day? Probably way more than you realize. This is because when you feel content or happy, your body’s physical reaction is to smile or laugh. 

While it’s true that you can fake a smile or laugh to be polite or approachable or even when you’re nervous or afraid, this blog will focus on the very real happiness that smiling brings.

Why Do We Smile? 

Smiling is an automatic response to positive emotions. Studies have shown that people who are happier and more satisfied with their lives tend to smile more often than those who aren’t as happy. In fact, there have been studies in which researchers have found that just thinking about being happy makes us smile. So if you want to make someone smile, try making them think about something they like!

Our brains release endorphins into our bloodstream when we smile. Endorphins are natural painkillers and help us feel good. They also reduce stress and help us relax. These chemicals are released from the brain whenever we experience pleasure. When we see others smiling, we subconsciously mimic their facial expressions.

The Benefits of Smiling

So what are some benefits of smiling? Well, let’s start off with the obvious: Smiles are contagious. If you’re around someone who smiles all the time, you’ll probably smile too. And if you smile at someone else, chances are they will return the favor. The same goes for laughing.

Another benefit is that smiling helps us express ourselves better. A lot of people don’t know how to communicate effectively without using words. By smiling, we can show other people what we mean just by the look on our face.

Physiological Benefits of Smiling

Smiling actually improves our health. Studies have shown that smiling releases serotonin, which is a neurotransmitter that helps regulate mood. Serotonin is also involved in regulating sleep cycles and appetite. So not only does smiling improve our social relationships, but it also improves our overall mental well-being.

Smiling has also been found to:

  • Reduce stress
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Increase energy levels
  • Boost self-esteem
  • Make you look younger
  • Increase productivity
  • Improve concentration
  • Relieve depression

Smiling can also decrease anxiety. So even when you have to put on a fake smile, you will see some benefits such as a lower heart rate and lower stress levels. Smiling is also said to be a natural painkiller. 

So, there is a value to “faking it till you make it.” Smiling when you’re not happy can give you an emotional boost and give you more confidence, too. Slap on a fake smile if you have to when you’re in stressful situations and you may find yourself wearing a genuine smile before you know it. 

Smiling Helps Lift Others, Too

Did you ever notice that when you smile, other people seem to respond positively to you? You might find yourself getting invited to parties or having more friends. Why is that?

When we smile, we send out signals that say, “I’m friendly.” People pick up on these signals and respond accordingly.

In fact, research shows that when we smile, our bodies produce hormones called oxytocin and vasopressin. Oxytocin and vasopressor are known to increase feelings of trust and empathy. 

So next time you catch yourself smiling, remember that you may be helping lift others’ spirits, too.

But, What if You Don’t Smile? 

Many people don’t love their smiles and choose to avoid smiling in pictures or social situations because they lack confidence in their appearance due to the state of their teeth.

But this doesn’t have to be true! There are many ways to get rid of your smile concerns and restore your confidence. Here are some tips to help you achieve a beautiful smile.

Brush Your Teeth Regularly

Brushing your teeth twice a day is one of the best things you can do to keep your smile healthy. Brushing removes food particles and plaque buildup from between your teeth, preventing cavities and gum disease.

Flossing Daily

Flossing is another great way to remove debris from between your teeth. It also stimulates blood flow and circulation, keeping gums healthy.

Use Fluoride Toothpaste

Fluoride toothpastes strengthen enamel and prevent decay.

Consider Cosmetic Dentistry

If you want to change the shape of your teeth, consider cosmetic dentistry procedures such as veneers and crowns. These treatments can dramatically alter the look of your teeth and boost your confidence. 

Cosmetic dental options that can improve the appearance of your smile include:

Porcelain veneers. These thin layers of porcelain are bonded to the front surface of your teeth to cover imperfections like chips, cracks, stains, gaps and uneven spacing. They can even correct minor misalignments of your teeth.

Crowns. A crown is a cap placed over the top of a damaged tooth. Crowns can repair cracked, chipped, broken or decayed teeth.

Dental bonding. Dental bonding involves covering small areas with composite resin. This procedure can strengthen weak spots on teeth and fill in spaces left by missing teeth.

Dental implants. Implants are titanium posts that replace missing teeth. The implant acts as a foundation for an artificial tooth and helps prevent bone loss around the roots of natural teeth.

Teeth whitening. Many people use whitening strips or bleaching kits to lighten their teeth at home, but our professional whitening products can give you better results that last longer! Whitening products work by removing discoloration caused by coffee, tea, tobacco, red wine and other substances.

We offer patients an array of cosmetic dentistry services designed to improve the appearance of your smile and give your confidence a boost. Call us now to schedule an appointment.