Whether they’d admit it or not, everyone loves to smile. There’s nothing that feels better than being able to show off a big grin to the people around you. As it turns out, you may not be imagining it when you think that smiling makes you feel better; studies have shown that they have some serious benefits. If you need a few more reasons to smile, here are some ways it can make a difference in how you feel.
More Than Skin Deep
It feels like we smile because we’re happy, but certain evidence has shown that it might be the other way around. Physiologist Paul Eckman studied the brain patterns of a group of students after he told them to smile. Of course, they weren’t smiling because they genuinely felt something, they were smiling because they were told to. However, their brain scans showed activity that was comparable to another set of students that smiled genuinely. If this study’s to be believed, you can fake it until you make it.
Impress & Destress
When you’re under pressure, a smile can reassure everyone around you that things will be all right. Interestingly, however, you can also comfort yourself this way. A researcher at the University of California, Irvine measured people’s reactions to stress, particularly their heartbeat. She found that people who smiled after completing a stressful task saw their heart rate return to normal significantly faster than people with neutral expressions. Next time your nerves start to fray, try meeting that challenge with a smile!
A Cheerful Cure-all
In certain cases, smiling has even been shown to stave off disease! A study by the Loma Linda University School of Medicine’s Department of Clinical Immunology found that patients who smiled saw a mild, but noticeable, boost in the number of white blood cells in the body. While it can’t cure you of a cold, grinning through it might help you recover faster.
Smiling can make you feel good in all kinds of ways. That’s why it’s best to take care of your smile and prevent tooth decay: brush twice a day, floss daily, and use an antibacterial mouthwash. That way, you can keep your pearly whites shining!
About the Author
Dr. Travis Rottman is a dentist who loves to make his patients smile. He does that not only by providing them with the latest in oral medicine but also by forming personal relationships with them based on trust and respect. Dr. Rottman received his Doctor of Dental Medicine from the Texas A&M Baylor College of Dentistry, and he completes around 100 hours of continuing education a year. He’s also a proud member of the Academy of General Dentistry. If you have any questions about how to get a smile you’ll love, he can be reached at his website or by phone at (972) 848-0073.