While most people know to go to their dentist to maintain the health and alignment of their teeth, the benefits of proper dental care go far beyond oral health.
With care from the right dentist, dentistry can transform your smile, giving you more confidence to use it more often.
Smiling in and of itself is a powerful tool that helps people communicate with others without needing to say a thing. But it also can have powerful effects on yourself, too.
So what exactly are the psychological effects of smiling and why should you focus on doing it more?
1. Smiling boosts the mood
Facial expressions have a big impact on mood. When you are naturally feeling good, you will smile without realising it. However, you don’t have to be in a good mood to smile.
Science has actually shown that smiling (even if you’re in a bad mood) has the power to boost your mood because it sends signals to your brain that tell it you’re actually happy.
In one study, researchers discovered that when subjects were asked to bite down on a pencil (simulating a smile-like face), they reported more positive feelings than subjects who were asked to purse their lips around the pencil (more of a frown-like face).
A smile doesn’t have to be genuine to boost your mood. In fact, it’s a tool you can use when you’re feeling down to bring you back up.
2. It brings stress levels down
Since you’ve now learned that smiling sends certain chemicals and signals to your brain, you can appreciate how the simple act of smiling is a mood mechanism.
But further than just mood-boosting, smiling can also reduce stress by releasing chemicals called endorphins that lower stress levels and bring about a sense of mild euphoria.
3. You become more attractive, instantly
As humans, you interpret cues and communications signals from one another constantly. A smile is one of these cues that is then perceived by others as coming from a person who is easygoing, personable, and attractive.
Sometimes it doesn’t take an amazing outfit or a new hairdo to look good, just your smile.
4. Confidence is key
Confidence is important when making first impressions and during other high-pressure situations.
But a smile is a secret weapon everybody can use at all times to induce feelings of confidence.
A smile send the message that you are competent and relaxed, which are both great qualities to demonstrate.
5. It’s the good kind of ‘contagious’
Due to a kind of cell called mirror neurons, when you see someone with a happy smile on their face, you find ourselves involuntarily smiling in return.
The positive energy that forms when you are smiling and are surrounded by people who are smiling in return is a cascading effect that can put a more positive spin on life.
6. It makes you more creative
Lastly, another fantastic benefit of smiling is the natural boost in creativity. You see, smiling boosts happiness, as was touched on earlier. And happiness is associated with greater problem solving and higher levels of creativity.
7. It’s an easy fix
The best part about smiling is that the only instructions needed are to “just do it.”
Once you smile, the mental and physical health benefits kick-in. But when you don’t have a smile you’re proud of, you’re shutting yourself off from a happier life.
Spending time with the right dentist can have a lasting impact on your oral health, smile, and overall well-being in life.
Dennis Relojo-Howell is the world’s first blog psychologist and founder of Psychreg. As an international mental health advocate, he speaks at various conferences around the world and believes that everyone experiencing a mental health problem deserves both support and respect.