They say that people who smile more are happier and lead healthier lives. But has anyone ever explained why Bright Smiles (see what I did there) are good for you? Each time you crack a smile your brain releases neuropeptides, which include dopamine, endorphins, and serotonin. These are the feel-good, mood-elevating hormones. What are neuropeptides you ask? Neuropeptides are small protein-like molecules that regulate almost all of the processes of your cells and the way cells communicate with each other. Neuropeptides influence your brain, body, and behavior in major ways. They also influence your mood, causing you to feel happy, excited, angry, or sad. Like in the movie, Inside Out.
Smiling also gives more pleasure to the brain than even chocolate. Which is great news for us, being a dental office and all. Sounds unbelievable right? We don’t blame you for being skeptical. We had our doubts as well. But according to Ron Gutman, the author of Smile: The Astonishing Powers of a Simple Act, “British researchers found that one smile can generate the same level of brain stimulation as up to 2,000 bars of chocolate.” Hey, if we can avoid all those extra calories and possible tooth decay, why not give it a shot?
Speaking of avoiding calories, researchers at the University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC) showed that randomized sad faces flashing on a computer screen were judged to be bigger in size, while the ones who smiled appeared to be thinner. Another fun fact, smiling can also make you look younger. A study from the UMKC had college students guess the ages of candidates. They found that older people who had happy smiles on their faces were perceived to be younger than their age. Whereas, the people with frowns on their faces were categorized as looking older.
Smiling can even add years to your life. Don’t believe it? According to a research project done in 2010 at Wayne State University, when viewing pre-1950s major league player baseball cards, it showed players that were smiling in their photo lived to an average age of almost 80 years, whereas, the players who did not, only lived an average of 72.9 years. This all sounds great, but how can you smile if you’re subconscious or insecure about that chipped or discolored tooth? If you are depriving yourself of all these wonderful benefits because you are insecure about your smile, we want to help. We at Bright Smiles Dental strive to make sure all of our patients are leaving with confident smiles. We want you to feel great about your smile. Because when you smile, we smile. Smiling is contagious after all.
DENTAL TRIVIA: True or False: While regular sodas damage teeth, diet sodas do not. (FALSE – Diet “sugar-free” soda contains its own acid, which can damage teeth.)