Smiling not only makes the world go ‘round, it also comes with a wide range of benefits, from reducing your stress levels to improving your immune system. If you aren’t confident with the way your teeth look or feel, you could be missing out on all the good things that a healthy smile has to offer!
Here at Thomas Kovacs Orthodontics, we know that smiling frequently can have positive effects for you socially, professionally, and personally. Understanding that highlights why it’s so important to take care of your teeth and gums by visiting a dentist regularly and working with an orthodontist to correct any orthodontic issues.
To give you extra insight into the power that a smile can have, we’ve put together some of the biggest benefits below. Keep reading to learn more about why a confident smile is so important and how our expert team can improve your oral health and help you achieve a smile you can be proud of!
Boost your mood
When you smile, it releases the “happy chemicals” in your brain like dopamine, endorphins, and serotonin. Your smile doesn’t have to be genuine for this to work, either—even a forced smile can help improve your words since the simple act of your muscles moving will encourage your brain to dump those feel-good chemicals into your bloodstream. You really can fake it ‘til your make it when it comes to smiling!
Lift others up
Your smile affects those around you, too. A 2004 study done by Penn State University found that when retail employees smiled at their customers, it created a more positive experience and left them feeling happier and more satisfied with their purchases.
The University of Kansas conducted a similar study outside of the retail setting, giving volunteers a list of stressful tasks to complete. Some participants were asked to smile during these tasks while others were told to maintain a straight face. When researchers measured the heart rates of all the participants, they found that those who had been told to smile had lower heart rates and an increased resistance to stress. These volunteers also self-reported feeling more positive overall.
There are years worth of studies and research to back up the idea that smiles can not only take your own mood from negative to positive in no time at all, but also make those around you feel better.
Retrain your brain
The human brain is naturally prone to negativity as an evolutionary defense mechanism, but smiling has the ability to counteract that! Every time you smile, your brain becomes aware of this behavior and tracks it accordingly. The more frequently you do it, the better your brain gets at breaking those patterns of negative thought and replacing them with more positive ones! Over time, this make it easier to shut out negativity, which can boost your mood, enhance your creativity, and increase your self-esteem.
Smiling is contagious
Humans excel at mimicking facial expressions, even when we don’t realize we’re doing it. Mirroring the person we’re communicating with allows us to understand them better and respond to them in an appropriate manner. It can also trigger a similar emotional state in those around us, which is why smiles are so contagious!
Yale University actually set out to demonstrate this by dividing volunteers into small groups and assigning specific tasks. One team member was then secretly instructed to act upbeat as they entered the room. When that person came in with a smile on their face, the mood in the room noticeably lifted and each individual’s performance improved. The group itself was even more likely to achieve its goal, which is scientific proof of how impactful smiling among others can be.
Improve your health
The impression your smile leaves on others is a good enough reason to work towards optimal oral health, but treatment can be beneficial in many other ways as well. Crooked teeth can impact more than your appearance. Oral issues that are left untreated can lead to health problems that may interrupt the ability to properly chew, swallow, and absorb nutrients. Misaligned teeth and jaws can also increase the risk for tooth decay, TMJ pain, chronic headaches, and can even impact speech. Improves your oral health through orthodontics will contribute to a better overall quality of life, from liking what you see when you look in the mirror to eating, sleeping, and concentrating better, too!
Not only that, but smiling has been shown to have a positive effect on your immune system as well. It improves its capabilities by increasing the presence of antibodies, which are our body’s infection fighters. A reduction in stress is important for your immune system, too. The less stressed you are, the faster your immune response cells can react to pathogens and other health threats. Since smiling reduces your stress levels, this is yet another benefit of excellent oral health.
Set yourself up for success
Outside of affecting your health, being self-conscious about your smile can also keep you from stepping outside your comfort zone. Taking risks is something that is almost always essential for success! An Invisalign survey on this very subject found that almost 80% of adults who underwent orthodontic treatment said having a healthier smile gave them the confidence to do something they never would have considered doing before. Feeling happy with your appearance can make you feel better about life in general, and having a smile you love can be a big part of that!
Leave a lasting impression with a smile from Thomas Kovacs Orthodontics
At Thomas Kovacs Orthodontics, we’re committed to giving every patient a confident smile and a rewarding orthodontic experience. Would you like to learn more about how orthodontics can give you the confident smile you deserve? Get in touch today and schedule your FREE consultation with Dr. Kovacs.