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The Intriguing Psychology Of A Smile

A smile can quite literally light up a room. In fact, smiling can sometimes even be contagious – after all, it can be kind of difficult to not smile when you see someone else smiling. It is an expression that means the same thing in many cultures around the world, transcending language and cultural barriers. What could be better than that?

But when it comes to smiles, sometimes there isn’t much to be happy about, especially if you have crooked, broken, missing or stained teeth. For people suffering with a less-than-perfect set of pearly whites, smiling can be stressful, or worse, avoided altogether. That seemingly innocuous expression can be a source of pain and embarrassment. 

So why is something as seemingly simple as a smile so important? Here are some facts you may not have known.

The Benefits of Smiling

In addition to showing the world you’re happy, a smile has many positive benefits, the first being a reduction of stress. This is because when we smile, we lower the amount of stress-causing hormones in the bloodstream, preventing something called adrenal fatigue. Adrenal fatigue is the name for a collection of stress-related conditions, including sleep disturbances, digestive problems and body fatigue. When you smile, you lower your risk of developing these issues.

In addition to combatting those stress-causing hormones, smiling can even release good hormones like dopamine, serotonin and endorphins. That’s right – just by smiling, you release happy hormones that make you even happier!

But it doesn’t stop there! Smiling also can help your performance at work. Did you know that happier workers are more productive? A recent study found that people who considered themselves happy had more energy and were a staggering 155 percent happier with their jobs than those who weren’t happy overall. They also spent twice as much time on work-related tasks than their less happy coworkers!

Social Smiling

Smiling can also help you in your personal life. In fact, studies have shown that women consider men who smile more of a potential long-term partner than men who do not. A recent study even found that people can appear more attractive just by smiling, even if a potential partner didn’t find them attractive before smiling.

Smiling Around The Globe

In the country of Thailand, the people are so well known for smiling, it has earned the nation the name “the land of smiles.” In Thailand, it means more than just happiness; it can mean many different things, including happiness, nervousness, confusion and frustration.

Not far away in Southeast Asia, in Indonesia, a smile can be masking anger, as showing one’s anger outright is not acceptable.

In Japan, it is more appropriate to smile with your eyes than your mouth!

In countries like Russia and Norway, it is said that smiling for no reason is, well, frowned upon. In fact, many cultures believe that people who smile for no reason must be from a country with a blend of different ethnicities and cultures.

Smile Problems

While no matter where you’re from, it can be difficult to suppress a genuine smile, for many people however, this has become a way of life due to a lack of confidence. Whether they cover their mouth while smiling or simply don’t don’t do it at all, people with “bad” teeth often hide, regardless of how happy they truly are.

If you have stained, broken, crooked or missing teeth, you may feel insecure. This is normal, but it doesn’t have to be that way. That’s where modern orthodontics and cosmetic dentistry can help. 

Products like veneers, braces, whitening treatments, crowns and implants can all play a role in restoring your smile to something that makes you truly happy, and truly happy to show off.

Veneers are thin sheets of porcelain that cover your existing teeth and create the appearance of whiter, brighter teeth. They can also help change the shape of the teeth and can cover chips or damage to the natural tooth.

Braces can straighten your teeth into a more uniform and pleasing shape while correcting a bad bite that may cause difficulty in chewing or speaking.

Whitening treatments can lighten the teeth by several shades for a brighter smile.

Crowns can repair cracks and chips in existing teeth.

Dental implants can replace missing teeth and fill in the gaps in your pearly whites.

With so many reasons to smile, you owe it to yourself to get the best care possible for your teeth. Regular cleanings and exams will help keep your smile bright and white. For those who still aren’t confident about their smile, discuss your cosmetic dentistry options with Dr. Mingus.