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The Hidden Side Effects of Smiling

March 7, 2022
Avatar for Dr. MingusDr. Mingus
smiling

“When you’re smilin’, when you’re smilin’
The whole world smiles with you
When you’re laughin’, when you’re laughin’
The sun comes shinin’ through”

These lyrics from Frank Sinatra’s “When You’re Smiling” are seemingly true. Have you noticed that when you smile, you make everyone around you smile, too? 

This is because smiling is actually contagious! Studies have shown that people who smile at each other tend to be perceived as friendlier and more trustworthy than those who don’t smile. 

There are other benefits of smiling, too. Here are the top reasons you should smile every day. 

Smiling helps you live longer. A study published by Boston University found that individuals who smiled more had a longer life. Some researchers believe this may be due to the release of endorphins (hormones produced by your brain) that can help lower blood pressure, lower heart rate, and reduce stress and anxiety. 

Smiling makes you happier. In fact, smiling has been proven to increase happiness levels up to 30 percent. Obviously, if you’re happy then you’ll smile more often, but it can work the other way around too: If you’re feeling down, smiling can help you feel happier. 

Smiling boosts your focus and self-esteem. According to a study from the University of Tennessee, smiling really does make you feel better. This means you can stay alert and focused throughout the day. It also improves your self-esteem and confidence, making you feel good about yourself. 

Smiling boosts your immune system. There are many studies showing that smiling can boost your immune system. One study showed that women who smiled regularly had lower rates of colds and flu compared to women who rarely smiled. Another study found that men who smiled frequently were less likely to get sick during the winter months. Smiling is also a natural painkiller, so it may help you push through if you’re not feeling your best. 

Smiling releases positive hormones. As mentioned above, endorphins are released into your body when you smile. These chemicals can help improve your mood and reduce feelings of pain. They can also help relieve stress and anxiety and offer numerous health benefits. 

Smiling reduces tension. If you find yourself frowning or clenching your jaw, try smiling instead. The act of smiling will activate different muscle groups in your face, causing them to relax. This can help reduce tension and stress. 

Smiling increases energy. When you smile, your eyes light up and your cheeks become flushed. This gives off an aura of energy and enthusiasm. People who smile often are seen as more energetic and enthusiastic than those who don’t. 

Smiling keeps you looking younger. Smiling activates certain muscle groups in your face that can help keep your skin smooth and youthful.

Smiling makes you look more successful. Research has shown that people who smile regularly appear more confident, approachable and capable. Smiling may mean you are more likely to be promoted at work. Try putting on a smile at meetings and business appointments and see if your peers react to you differently. 

When You Don’t Like Your Smile

You’ve heard the benefits of smiling, but what happens when you don’t smile because you don’t like the appearance of your teeth? Many people hide their smile because they don’t like how their teeth look. 

You look unhappy. Studies have shown that people who don’t smile look unhappy. Even if you aren’t conscious of this and you feel perfectly happy, others around you may pick up on your expression and interpret it as negative.

You look unapproachable. A person’s first impression is formed within seconds of meeting someone. If you don’t smile, you won’t give off the right signals to other people. You might not even realize that you’re giving off negative signals until someone points out your lack of smile. Even a fake smile (fake it till you make it even if you don’t feel like it) can help you appear more friendly to others.

You look older. In addition to making you appear unhappy, hiding your smile or making unhappy facial expressions can make you appear older than you are. 

You could end up depressed. Many people who don’t like the appearance of their smile feel negative about themselves. They may think that they are ugly or unattractive. This can lead to depression or feelings of social anxiety. Remember, smiling evokes positive emotions and lowers your stress levels. 

You could lose friends. It’s hard to maintain friendships and be social with others if you’re uncomfortable about your appearance. 

Do You Feel Uncomfortable About the Appearance of Your Smile? 

If you’re feeling self-conscious about your smile, there are things you can do to improve its appearance. Here are some tips:

1. Get professional dental care. Having regular checkups and cleanings from your dentist can help keep your smile healthy and beautiful. At least twice a year, schedule an appointment for a cleaning and exam.

2. Use whitening products from the dentist. Whiten your teeth with professional-grade tooth whitening. 

3. Talk to us about cosmetic dental procedures. We offer many different options to enhance your smile. These include veneers, crowns and bridges, dental implants, and tooth whitening. 

4. Change your mindset. Remember, smiling has numerous emotional and physical health benefits. Feeling good about your smile will make you feel good about yourself! 

It’s worth it to get the smile you deserve. Call us now to schedule your cosmetic dentistry consultation.