We believe every patient should leave their dental practice smiling, whether you’re just in for general dentistry check-up or in need of an emergency dentist fast.
But did you know that a big smile can also be great for your health?
Turns out, the old song, “When you’re smiling, the whole world smiles with you,” had it 100% right. Research shows that smiling at others, or merely seeing a smile, creates contagious, happy thoughts in your brain and the brains of all those around you – even if you weren’t feeling happy in the first place.
It’s the ultimate feel-good feedback loop and – best of all – it costs you nothing! Let’s take a closer look at the science of smiling to find out just why it’s so good for your health.
Five great reasons to smile more often.
- Smiling reduces stress. A big happy grin releases a flood of chemicals called endorphins into your brain, triggering positive feelings and relaxing your muscles. And it works even if you don't feel happy – the endorphins trick your body into thinking you're on top of the world.
- Smiling lifts your mood. Serotonin is another chemical released by smiling and laughing. The good news is it’s a natural anti-depressant so, when you smile, you’ll instantly feel a natural high (but without the nasty side effects), staving off depression which can weaken your immune system. Serotonin release from smiling boosts your resistance to illness – so a smile a day really does keep the doctor away!
- Smiling can reduce your risk of heart disease. Endorphins also lower your heart rate and blood pressure, which means you’re less likely to experience cardiovascular issues if you’re a serial smiler.
- Smiling makes you look younger. If the advancing years have you worried about your appearance, a smile is an easy fix that won't cost you the earth in anti-ageing potions and pills. Studies show that people are more likely to think you're more attractive, reliable, relaxed and sincere when you flash your pearly whites at them.
- Smiling makes everyone else feel better, too. Seeing smiling faces activates your orbitofrontal cortex – the place in your brain the processes sensory rewards. That means, when you smile at someone, it's like giving them a visceral gift of happiness. Go on, try it now – smile at a stranger and see what they're reaction is. You'll probably find your smile is contagious – that's because the part of their brain responsible for mimicking others (the cingulate cortex, if you want to be technical) coaxes them to smile back unconsciously. Smiles don't just make you feel great; they make everyone around you feel great, too. Now isn't that a compelling reason to smile more often?
So, today, try it for yourself. Go out and smile at someone and see what their reaction is. But if you’re too embarrassed about your smile flash those pearly whites, we can help. And, if you need an emergency dentist, we promise to make you smile again by the time you walk out the door!