Every person is born with the innate ability to smile. By around two months of age, babies can smile at the people who are closest to them. An individual’s smile can convey several different emotions, such as happiness, gratitude, friendliness, and contentment. However, there is much more to a person’s smile than conveying an emotional state. After many scientific and psychological case studies, it has been proven that an individual’s smile affects their overall health and happiness.
The Science Behind Smiling
There is a lot more to a single smile than most people realize. The act of smiling activates neural messaging in the brain, and when a person smiles, the neurotransmitters that cause a person to feel good are released. These neurotransmitters are dopamine, endorphins, serotonin, and oxytocin. In the world of science, dopamine is known as the feel-good hormone that keeps a person motivated and enjoying life. Endorphins are released during physical activities and allow a person to overcome the pain and stress associated with the activity. Serotonin is what makes an individual feel important, and lastly, oxytocin allows people to build stronger bonds, trust, and relationships with other people. All of these neurotransmitters are key components to allowing a person to feel joy and happiness in themselves, their lives, and the people around them. Smiling is an easy way to increase the levels of these components so that you can become healthier and happier.
Health Benefits of Smiling
- Lowers blood pressure
- Strengthens immune function
- Provides pain relief
- Increases longevity of life
Psychological Benefits of Smiling
- Improves overall mood
- Provides stress relief
- Decreases depression and anxiety
Correcting a Less-Than-Perfect Smile
Many people refrain from smiling because of missing, broken, crooked, and discolored teeth, or even because of bad breath. Having a less-than-perfect smile can rob an individual of their self-esteem, self-confidence, and the many other health benefits that smiling can provide. With the help of a cosmetic dentist, a person can enjoy the benefits of good health and happiness for years and years.
For more information on how to correct your less-than-perfect smile, or for a consultation with cosmetic dentist Dr. Sands, contact our office by calling (310) 273-0111.