Every day, the Colony Square Dental Associates team, strives to provide patients with the best in today’s dentistry. Our goal is to keep teeth, gums, and the supporting bone, all of which combine to form an attractive smile, healthy. As dental health care professionals, we speak a great deal about smiling with confidence and chewing foods in comfort. But, most often we don’t discuss the reasons that sharing your pearly whites is important to your overall wellbeing, and even the wellbeing of others.
Our faces tell our story. Smiling is the primary tool that enables us to share feelings of happiness with family, friends, colleagues, and those we encounter in our daily lives. It’s even said that you can even hear a smile over the phone. Since we were little we’ve been told to smile. When it’s time to blow out birthday candles on a cake the photographer says, “look up and smile!” A group of friends gather around; before a photo is taken someone invariably shouts out, “everyone smile”. You are at a restaurant, on a trip, at an event, and are ready to take a selfie; what do you do? You SMILE and click. And, should you become a parent (or, of course, a grandparent) you can’t wait to see baby’s first smile. A smile and happiness go together. When we are greeted with a smile, we tend to smile back. Eyes sparkle, the facial muscles work together and the corners of the mouth rise. It’s both an unconscious and a conscious activity – one that not only brightens your day and conveys a positive message, but also makes the moment a happier one for others around you.
Does smiling improve our health?
Yes, it’s true! The simple act of smiling causes the brain to become a happy place. It’s been reported in countless scientific journals and articles in magazines such as Psychology Today. Our brains transmit neural messages – whether they are negative messages, such as anxiety, or positive messages of happiness or excitement, starting with the release of neuropeptides. An involved process, the result of smiling is positive messaging to the body. With the release of dopamine, serotonin, and endorphins, all of which transmit signals to the body that all is good, stress is lowered, blood pressure goes down, the sensation of pain is reduced, and our mood is elevated. Just from smiling.
How does our smile impact others?
And what’s equally as fascinating is that smiling is contagious. The saying that he or she has an ‘infectious smile’ isn’t new. Unlike a cold that no one wants shared, smiles are welcomed and typically result in a returned smile. So, not only do you feel better, you’ve also elevated someone else’s mood. And, no surprise, now that you’ve smiled, been rewarded by receiving one in return, your smile grows. Everyone is happier!
And a genuine smile improves others’ perceptions of you. Interestingly enough, if we look at a photo of people with smiling faces, compared to those not smiling, the actual photo, and those in it, look better to us. The subjects appear more attractive and we tend to have positive reactions. So, if that’s true in a picture, it’s true in person. The more we smile, the better others think of us.
Be healthy and smile more!
While we don’t have control over everything in life, we are in charge of our smiles. If there is some tweaking needed to increase your eagerness to share a big smile, Drs. Hochberg & Diora are here to work with you. We hope you wear your smile proudly and often this, and every, year. You’ll make your New Year, and everyone who is the recipient of this invaluable gift, have a happier, healthier 2018!