There’s a certain magic in your smile. Each time you smile you send out a positive visual message to someone. If a “picture is worth a thousand words”, so is a beautiful smile. Scientists have known for a long time that emotions are accompanied by numerous changes in the body, and that our brain actually pays attention to what our body is doing. And research shows that smiling affects our emotions and that the act of smiling activates messaging in the brain that benefits our health and happiness. Plus we can use our smiling powers to positively impact almost any social situation, and that makes smiling really good for us. Smiling improves not only our appearance but our health as well.
How Smiling Affects Babies
Did you know that we’re actually born smiling! According to research, 3-D ultrasound technology now shows that developing babies appear to smile in the womb. They can also cry and blink before birth. It was previously thought babies learned to smile after birth by copying their mothers. The detailed 3D images show that babies start making finger movements at 15 weeks, yawning at 18 weeks and smiling, and blinking and crying at 26 weeks. And baby teeth can arrive as early as 12 weeks. After they’re born, babies continue to smile (initially mostly in their sleep) and even blind babies smile in response to the sound of the human voice.
How Smiling Affects Your Health
Smiling can actually fight off stress. Each time you smile you throw a little feel-good party in your brain. The act of smiling activates neural messaging that benefits your health and happiness. Smiling stimulates our brain’s reward mechanisms in a way that even chocolate, a well-regarded pleasure-inducer, cannot match. And unlike lots of chocolate, lots of smiling can actually make you healthier. Smiling has documented therapeutic effects, and has been associated with:
- reduced stress hormone levels (like cortisol, adrenaline, and dopamine)
- increased health and mood enhancing hormone levels (like endorphins)
- and lowered blood pressure
How Smiling Affects Others
Everyone knows the quote “laughter is the best medicine”. Smiling can boost your mood and even your immune system and create a positive atmosphere around others. Did you know that your smile is actually contagious? So if you’re smiling at someone, it’s likely they can’t help but smile back. If they don’t, they’re making a conscious effort not to. Each time you smile at a person, their brain coaxes them to return the favor. This allows both of you to release feel good chemicals in your brain, activate reward centers, making you both more attractive and increasing the chances of you both living longer, healthier lives. Smiling is a win-win scenario.
Our practice is built around your smile
Starting out your day with a smile can completely change your internal and external experience. A smile is something that should be worn often. The world is simply a better place when you smile. And good news for you, a beautiful and healthy smile is just around the corner at Northgate Dental. To discover which teeth whitening or dental procedure is best for you please contact us. We will be more than glad to help with any advice we can. Or if you prefer, request an appointment and receive a free consultation. We look forward to improving your smile, and your health.