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Smiling Makes You Happy (and Healthy)

Smiling is the first facial expression we ever learn, and we do it even before we’re out of the womb. It tells others we don’t know that we’re non-threatening, it makes us more attractive, and it can even be contagious.

There are lots of reasons we smile, warm weather, visiting with old friends, or receiving a hug, but considering the mounting evidence for the benefits of smiling, however, here are two more: smiling makes you happier and healthier.

Smiling Makes You Happy (and Healthy)

Feel Happier

We smile because we’re happy, we frown because we’re sad, but, it seems, things can work in the opposite direction. A slew of recent studies of botox recipients may reinforce the idea that our emotions can be fortified, even redirected, by our facial expressions.

On average, patients whose ability to frown has been compromised by procedures such as botox are happier than normal, an administered questionnaire found. A possible explanation to this finding could be that emotions are located not only within the brain but the body as well, and that our expressions operate like a feedback loop. When prevented from making negative expressions by paralyzing injections, the negative emotional feedback loop gets broken.

Be Healthier

Published in Psychological Science, a recent study suggests that smiling while stressed could help the heart. As their methodology, researchers manipulated the facial muscles of 169 participants into neutral expressions, a standard smile, and a large smile. While having their facial muscles manipulated, participants were subjected to a series of stress-inducing tasks including using their non-dominant hand, and multitasking.

What they found was that the smiling participants had lower heart rates after recovery, and those with the biggest smiles were the most relaxed of all. It’s also possible that the reduced stress caused by smiling can even boost our immune system by decreasing cortisol in the body.

Cosmetic Dentistry Can Help

Feeling embarrassed about stained or chipped teeth can affect the amount of smiling we do during any given day. Teeth are the first thing others see when we laugh, speak our mind, or smile, so it’s understandable that we want these to look perfect or may want to conceal; them if they don’t.

If you’re dissatisfied with your smile, there are options out there. Teeth whitening can effectively treat staining caused by coffee or wine better than the one-size-fits-all approach of store bought kits, and porcelain veneers can help to repair chips or gaps in your smile.

No matter what level of attention your smile needs, we can guarantee you’ll get it and more from Advanced Dentistry of Tarrytown. Please call (914) 332-4402 today for an appointment with one of our Westchester County dentists.