When it comes to cosmetic dentistry, patients tend to focus on its social benefits. In other words, they’re eager to get beautiful teeth that’ll impress friends, family, dates, and more. After all, today’s world seems to value appearance more than ever. However, did you know that a good-looking smile can improve your health too? Showing off your pearly whites — especially after cosmetic work — helps your body and mind as much as your relationships. To learn more, here are five health-related benefits of smiling from your dentist in Medford.
It Relieves Stress
If you’re having a stressful day, you might want to take a smile break. It turns out a wide grin is a great stress reliever.
That’s the conclusion, anyway, of a study from the University of California in Irvine. It found that people who smiled after a stressful task experienced a faster reduction in heart rate. Plus, the smilers had a quicker physical recovery from stress. According to study co-author Sarah Pressman, these results are due to how smiling sends ‘safety’ signals to the brain.
It Boosts Confidence & Mood
You seem cheerful, confident, and open to others when you smile. Over time, their feelings will rub off on you and help your self-confidence. As the saying goes, “fake it till you make it,” right?
It also doesn’t hurt that smiling can make you happier. You see, physiologist Paul Eckman discovered that smiling stimulates the same brain areas involved with pleasure. These results convinced Ekman that this facial movement elevates happiness.
It Reduces Pain
The human body releases endorphins when you laugh and smile. As it turns out, these chemicals are natural painkillers that relieve discomfort.
This fact may be one reason grins can also increase athletic endurance. One study found that running felt less effortful when runners smiled through it.
It Increases Immunity & Lifespan
Smiling also strengthens your immune system. Researchers at Loma Linda University found that it increases your white blood cell count. These cells fight infection, so the result is that your teeth protect you from illness!
Relatedly, smiles lengthen your lifespan. It could even do so by years—suggesting that a happy, positive mood may be an important part of a healthy lifestyle.
It’s fine to beautify your smile to look nice to others. That said, remember that showing your new-and-improved teeth will do your body good too!
About the Author
Dr. Anthony Giamberardino is a dentist in Medford, MA, having earned his DDM from Tufts University School of Dental Medicine. He’s also a member of the American Dental Association and the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. For nearly 30 years, he’s performed high-quality preventive, cosmetic, and restorative dental treatments, including emergency procedures. Dr. Giamberardino currently practices at Giamberardino Dental Care and can be reached on his website or by phone at (239)-939-7299.