Smiling is a sign of happiness, but is it also a tool we can use to make ourselves happy? There are indications that we can help boost our mood with a big smile.
Your brain takes cues from your body in many ways. It's how we feel pain, regulate temperature and react to stressful situations. Smiling to produce happiness is a way to use this fact to fool our brains. Smiling lowers levels of cortisol and adrenaline, both linked with anxiety and stress. It also produces endorphins.
The University of Kansas conducted a study wherein subjects were told they were being tested about multitasking. They were then told to arrange their faces in specific ways, including smiles, neutral faces and full smiles with eye-muscle involvement. After arranging their faces, subjects would multitask in stressful situations. Researchers collected experiential data from the subjects and monitored their heart rates.
Subjects who were told to smile (some of whom were only told to arrange their face a specific way and were never told specifically to smile) had lower heart rates and stress levels. While there is still much research to be done, this is a strong indication that smiling can have an affect on our mood.
Interestingly, not being able to frown appears to have a similar result. Researchers studied a group of women who had Botox that left them without the ability to frown. Those women had lower anxiety and depression than the control group.
Boston College found evidence that people who smile when they make a mistake usually get more leniency from their superiors. It didn't even matter if the smile was genuine. Study participants chose a less strict punishment for any smiling images.
This is great news. Show off a smile and you'll start to feel better. However, not everyone feels comfortable smiling. People who have dental problems may be embarrassed to smile and less happy for it.
No matter how old you are, you can benefit from orthodontic treatment from Sugar Land's top Orthodontist, Dr. Dennis Halford. Adults can get braces to give them the beautiful smiles that will make them happier and healthier.
Having a smile you're embarrassed about can definitely lower your self-esteem and keep you from smiling. You want to smile, but you don't want to draw attention to what you perceive as problems with your teeth, even to the point of hiding your braces. Luckily, there are discreet options.
Invisalign is a modern way to straighten your teeth without all of the metal and wires. It's one of the least disruptive orthodontic treatments you can get. You'll be fitted for and receive a succession of clear aligners that fit well and help reshape your smile. Unlike traditional braces, Invisalign involves little upkeep. You can keep eating what you want and caring for your teeth the way you normally do.
Another low-profile option is clear braces. They are the same as traditional metal braces but with clear materials. This gives you discreet hardware. Similarly, ceramic or tooth-colored materials make your braces less visible.
You can also have metal braces installed as lingual braces, meaning they go on the inside of the teeth where your tongue is. They work the same way. They're just fitted differently for less visibility.
You might think it's too late to turn to orthodontics to get a healthy, stress-relieving smile, but that's not true. Smiling is part of how we express ourselves and feel truly happy. It helps us connect with others. It's never too late to get the benefits of an attractive smile that you're happy to put on display.
For a free consultation, give us a call or complete our online consultation request form. We look forward to helping you live a healthier and happier life with a new smile!