“A smile is a curve that sets everything straight” – Phyllis Diller.
As dentists and dental professionals, we believe in the power of the smile. Whether you call it a grin, smirk, beam or smile, there’s no denying the feel-good power of this happy facial expression. Although we are born with the ability to smile, as we age, we tend to smile less often. As part of National Smile Month, we are encouraging our patients and friends to remember to smile daily. Here’s why…
1. Smiling improves your mood
When you smile, the muscles trigger the release of endorphins or happy hormones. Even fake smiling works just as well as the real thing, as the brain can’t differentiate between a real and fake smile.
2. Smiling is contagious
We all know someone that has a smile which has the power to light up a room. While it is certainly a beautiful sentiment, it carries some truth to it. Smiling not only elevates your mood, but it can also lift the moods of others.
3. Smiling relieves stress
When you smile, your brain releases a chemical reaction, which releases certain hormones including dopamine and serotonin. Dopamine increases our feelings of happiness, while serotonin release is associated with reduced stress.
4. Smiling builds your immune system
Laughing (which begins with a smile) initiates the release of serotonin in the body which helps boost the immune system as it stimulates white blood cells that fight against infection in the body. Whether you’re trying to maintain your overall health or strengthen your immune system ahead of cold and flu season, smiling may help.
5. Smiling lowers blood pressure
Smiling could have a beneficial impact on your blood pressure. Studies show that the act of smiling and laughing can lead to an immediate increase in heart rate and oxygen consumption, followed by a period of muscle relaxation, decreased heart rate and lower blood pressure.
6. Laughing is exercise
Ever laughed so much, your stomach hurts? It’s the best feeling but it also causes the muscles in your stomach to expand and contract and give you a core workout!
7. Smiling is attractive
47% of people notice someone’s smile first when they first meet them. Smiling makes you more approachable, which means interaction with others is easier and more enjoyable when smiles are shared. Smiling not only helps on a date but also at work or at a job interview, as it shows a relaxed persona, confidence, and an ability to cope well in stressful situations.