Did you know that your smile can help change your entire outlook on life in the middle of a rotten day? Did you know that your smile can change another person’s mood? Did you know that your smile speaks volumes about you? Science is now starting to prove some of these claims, and to measure the intensity and genuineness of a person’s smile and how that can determine whether or not they will be divorced or live a long life.
A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words
A recent study looked at college students’ Facebook photos, which were evaluated based on their smile intensity, and found that “women tended to smile more than men and with more intensity…smile intensity was correlated with the self-reported life satisfaction … and … smile intensity was a good predictor of changes in life satisfaction" over the course of the three-and-a-half year study.
Other studies have shown that if people are forced to smile, they feel happier.
We are not suggesting that anyone be forced to smile, but here's the scoop on the research...
This happens, researchers speculate, for several reasons. Swedish researchers found that people subconsciously change their facial features to mimic the emotions they’re seeing. So, for example, if you smile at a person, they will smile back, even though they may not consciously decide to do so. This is called “mimicry” and it explains the phrase “when you smile the world smiles with you”. Further study shows that this apparent reflexive response releases serotonin, dopamine and other mood boosting hormones relieving stress, depression, and even lowering blood pressure and boosting the immune system.
Imagine what would happen in Massachusetts if we all smiled a little more!!
Tips on Maintaining a Healthy Smile
Obviously, maintaining a healthy smile is the key to making all these things happen. A healthy smile also prevents harmful bacteria from entering your bloodstream and lungs and contributing to the effects of cardiovascular disease according to the Journal of Periodontology.
A person’s smile can be compromised by many things - tooth decay, periodontal disease, receding gums, and tooth loss (edentulism). Tooth decay can cause black spots on the teeth and may require treatment with fillings. Periodontal disease (periodontitis) or gum disease is the most common cause of tooth loss in adults. Left untreated, it affects the gum and underlying bone’s ability to hold on to teeth or keep them stable while chewing, resulting in receding gums and lost teeth. Studies have shown that people who are on a low income or the elderly have higher incidents of all these conditions. But “young people” can suffer from these conditions as well, and given how much emphasis our society puts on “looking great”, having a healthy smile is certainly one of the keys to healthy and happy life. It’s so important to take care of it.
3 Simple Steps To A Healthier Smile
1) First, the Dental Partners of Brookline recommend good oral hygiene practices – brushing AND flossing. Many people forget about flossing or think it’s not as important as brushing, but it is extremely important as it removes plaque and food from between teeth and stimulates gums and keeps them healthy. If you’re not sure how to use it properly, or want to be sure your brushing technique is effective, please talk to your Dental Partners of Brookline dentist.
2) Second, you need to plan for regular dental checkups with your Brookline dentist. These appointments are for more than just a cleaning. Your dentist and dental hygienist examines your mouth for signs of cancer and/or vitamin deficiency, as well as other illnesses or medication side effects that can affect the health your teeth and gums. Many people have dental phobias or think that they don’t feel any pain or symptoms so there isn’t anything wrong. For this reason they put off going to see a dentist. Many dental conditions can happen without you knowing it, but can show up on an X-ray. Your Brookline dentist is the first line of defense in keeping your healthy smile healthy on the inside and outside.
3) Third, don’t put off dental treatments if needed. In the end, this can end up costing patients a lot more in terms of money in the long-run because they will require more extensive treatment to take care of a more involved dental issue. If your dentist reveals that you need treatment, make it a priority to have it taken care of as soon as possible. It is easier to take care of a smaller, less expensive treatment now, than to have to pay for more extensive and expensive treatment plan later. The Dental Partners of Brookline multi-disciplinary practice have a variety of skilled dental practitioners to help you with your individual dental needs.