Your smile is one of the prettiest things you can wear. Orthodontics is one way to improve your smile, and the number of people seeking orthodontic treatment is on the rise.
More people are looking to improve the form and function of their bite but also, for various reasons, their smile. A genuine smile can help you appear likable, attractive, intelligent and trustworthy. It also can help improve your mood and help you live longer. The research behind the health benefits of smiling has been documented.
1. Stress relief. A 2015 study in Psychological Science found that smiling during a stressful task can help lower your heart rate. This helps relax your body and mind.
2. Lower blood pressure. An article published in 2009 discovered laughter and smiling help with muscle relaxation, and a decrease in heart rate and blood pressure, reducing the risk of developing heart disease.
3. Improved mood. Having a bad day, or in a bad mood? A 2010 study has proven focusing your attention on smiling releases endorphins, which help to improve your mood.
4. Pain relief. Laughter and smiling help alleviate pain with an endorphin-mediated opiate effect. In other words, they act like a painkiller. This was studied in 2011 at the Mayo Clinic. Laughter also was shown to help increase pain threshold.
5. Stronger immune system. It is said laughter, which usually begins with a smile, is the best medicine. Mayo Clinic reports laughter and positive thoughts release signaling molecules in your brain that help fight stress and illness, while negative thoughts decrease your body’s immunity.
6. Better relationships. We naturally seem drawn to people who smile a lot. Smiling contributes to likability and trustworthiness. In a 2014 study, witnesses who smiled in legal trials were shown to be more likable and credible than non-smiling witnesses.
7. Live longer. Happy people live longer. Smile intensity was discussed in a 2015 article and found to play a role in longevity. This means hold on to positive memories and smile. It may help increase your lifespan.
By contributing writer Dr. Ambre Kragor of Kragor Orthodontics.