Scientific Benefits to a Smile Makeover and Smiling More Often

Posted on: July 20, 2016

Smile MakeoverDid you know that a smile makeover can be a life-changing event? While it may sound a little self-serving to make a declaration like that, there have been many studies done showing that a smile has the power to positively influence your mind and your body. Unfortunately, too many people are very concerned about their teeth and do not smile enough. This causes them to miss out on the psychological, neurological, and human results of simply smiling. When you consider a smile, consider how contagious a smile can be. All it takes is one person to flash you a brilliant smile, and you could spend the rest of the day smiling at people and passing on the good vibes. The part of your brain that is responsible for your facial expression of smiling lives in the cingulate cortex, an unconscious automatic response area of the brain. Hence, smiling back is not purely physical or emotional, but is more deeply connected to the way our brains are wired.

With or without a smile makeover, your smile begins its life in your sensory corridors. The sight of an old friend, the laughter of a child, someone holding your hand, or the smell of your favorite food sends a signal directly to your brain, which in turn specifically excites the left anterior temporal region. On receiving this rousing signal the zygomatic major, a muscle found in your cheek forces your lips upwards while the orbicularis oculi, another muscle which encircles the eye socket, squeezes the outside corners into the shape of a crow’s foot. In other words, you find yourself smiling. Psychologists call this the “Duchenne smile,” and many believe it to be the only true indicator of genuine enjoyment. In the 1970’s two psychologists at the University of California captured the precise muscular coordinate behind 3,000 facial expressions and concluded in a 1990’s article that the best sign of enjoyment was, in fact, a Duchenne smile. As a dentist who specializes in the smile makeover, I never want a patient to hold back on an expression of true happiness just because they are uncomfortable with the way that their smile looks, especially when it is a problem that we can correct for you.

A smile makeover can make you smile more, and I know that smiling is actually good for you in numerous different ways. For starters, when you smile, the act of smiling activates the release of neuropeptides. Neuropeptides are tiny molecules that allow neurons to communicate, and facilitate messages throughout the entire body. When positivity is being shared throughout the body, initiated by a smile, neuropeptides actually work to reduce stress by releasing “feel good” hormones like dopamine, endorphins, and serotonin. The release of these chemicals not only helps relieve stress but has been shown to relax your body, lower your heart rate, and improve your blood pressure. The endorphins released when you smile are natural pain relievers. The serotonin serves as an anti-depressant, meaning that it will physically work to improve your mood. In other words, a smile makeover that will encourage you to smile more can help you to live a healthier lifestyle.

Finally, a study in 2011 by the University of Aberdeen in Scotland found that men and women are more attracted to images of other people who made eye contact and, you guessed it, smiled.

Visit our office today and discuss the benefits that a smile makeover could provide you.

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