Many people go to the dentist not just because they want good oral health, but also because having a great smile is a good confidence booster. But it also impacts those who see that dazzling smile.
A smile can be infectious--spreading joy and warmth to others. And it can also do you some physical good. Believe it or not there are mental and physiological effects of smiling. Here's how showing off those pearly whites can make a positive impact.
- Make you more attractive. “Your smile is your best accessory,” Castilla says. “Studies have shown that people who smile are automatically viewed as more attractive, reliable, relaxed, and sincere. Seeing an attractive face can be considered a rewarding stimulus, and when a person sees a smiling face, the region of their brain that processes sensory rewards is activated significantly more than when viewing a non-smiling face.”
- Relieve stress and boost your mood. Science has shown that smiling increases your health and happiness, not just at the moment, but even in the long run, Castilla says. “The more you smile, the healthier and happier you will be,” she says. How so? When you smile, your brain releases signaling molecules called neuropeptides to the rest of your body, she says. These neuropeptides influence your brain, body, and behavior in many ways, including reducing stress, aiding sleep, and elevating your mood.
- Lower your blood pressure. When you smile your brain also releases feel-good neurotransmitters, such as dopamine, endorphins, and serotonin. These chemicals calm your nervous system by lowering your heart rate and blood pressure. “It’s great to know that even when you skip out on going to the gym, you can still work on your health by smiling away,” Castilla says. “Although I don’t recommend skipping the gym.”
- Help you make others happy. Smiling not only has the power to elevate your mood, but it can also change the moods of others. “If you’re grumpy or rude, then you’re likely to put others in a bad mood or even put them off,” Castilla says. “The same thing happens with laughter and smiling. What happens when you smile at someone? They smile back, of course. Even babies know what to do. Smile at a baby and they will smile right back at you.”
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Like this read? Our own Nicole tested out Smile Direct Club; check out her thoughts, here!
Tips courtesy of Dr. Ana Castilla, orthodontist and the author of the book Smile of Your Life: Everything You Need to Know for Your Orthodontic Journey.