woman smiling good teeth dentist
Dental Health

4 Ways A Good Smile Improves Your Life

Many people go to the dentist not just because they want good oral health, but also because having a great smile is a good confidence booster and makes them likelier to smile more often. And it impacts those who see that dazzling smile.

Every day we see people who tell us about how their friends, family and business colleagues are also affected by their new smiles. They are just more willing to smile, and they didn’t anticipate how much that would impact others in their life.

Studies have shown that people believe smilers are reliable, relaxed and sincere.  A study published in the Journal of Neuropsychology reported that seeing an attractive, smiling face activates the orbitofrontal cortex, the region in the brain that processes sensory rewards. This suggests that when someone sees a person smiling, they feel rewarded.

Here’s a list of four other things a good smile can do:

Make you more attractive. Your smile is your best accessory. Studies reveal that people who smile are automatically viewed as more attractive, reliable, relaxed, and sincere. Seeing an attractive face can be considered a rewarding stimulus, and when a person sees a smiling face, the region of their brain that processes sensory rewards is activated significantly more than when viewing a non-smiling face.

woman being examined in dentist's office

Relieve stress and boost your mood. Science has shown that smiling increases your health and happiness, not only in the moment, but even in the long run. The more you smile, the healthier and happier you will be. How so? When you smile, your brain releases signaling molecules called neuropeptides to the rest of your body, she says. These neuropeptides influence your brain, body, and behavior in many ways, including reducing stress, aiding sleep, and elevating your mood.

A beautiful smile is so much more than just straight teeth. It is health, confidence and joy.

Lower your blood pressure. When you smile, your brain also releases feel-good neurotransmitters such as dopamine, endorphins, and serotonin. These chemicals calm your nervous system by lowering your heart rate and blood pressure. “It’s great to know that even when you skip out on going to the gym, you can still work on your health by smiling away.  Although I don’t recommend skipping the gym.

Help you make others happy. Smiling not only has the power to elevate your mood, but it can also change others’ moods.  If you’re grumpy or rude, then you’re likely to put others in a bad mood or even put them off. The same thing happens with laughter and smiling.  What happens when you smile at someone? They smile back, of course. Even babies know what to do. Smile at a baby and they will smile right back at you

A beautiful smile is so much more than just straight teeth. It is health, confidence and joy. It is what you display during the happiest moments of your life, such as when you graduate from school, get married, or your child is born. It is a reflection of your spirit, and make no mistake, it can change your life.

Dr. Ana Castilla is an orthodontist practicing in Salem, Oregon, and the author of the book Smile of Your Life: Everything You Need to Know for Your Orthodontic Journey; click here to order. She is also a diplomate of the American Board of Orthodontics. For more on her work, click here.



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