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Why You Should Be Thankful for Your Smile

Happy family of four smiling.

5 Benefits of Smiling

Smiling comes naturally to us all, but what does it do besides communicate our joy? Aesthetic Family Dentistry explores five benefits of smiling to you and your health.

1. Smiling Elevates Your Mood

Whenever you smile, your body releases various hormones, including dopamine, endorphins, and serotonin, that signal to your body that you are happy, giving you a mood boost with each smile. According to Ron Gutman, author of Smile: The Astonishing Powers of a Simple Act, “British researchers found that one smile can generate the same level of brain stimulation as up to 2,000 bars of chocolate.”

Furthermore, even if you are not in the best of moods, taking a “fake it ‘til you make it” approach and smiling can still improve your mood. While forced smiles do not result in the same levels of brain stimulation as genuine ones, they can trick your brain into a similar response.

2. Smiling Relieves Stress

When we are stressed, our body releases a hormone called cortisol. Typically, cortisol increases in one’s bloodstream in small increments for a short period. For those experiencing chronic stress, the body produces more significant amounts of cortisol, delivered to the bloodstream in a more continuous supply. As mentioned earlier, smiling releases many hormones, including endorphins. Endorphins directly counteract cortisol and impact cortisol in your body.

One’s ability to lower cortisol levels through smiling and laughing is so impactful that stress management strategies often include carving out time to watch humorous media or do things that give someone joy.

3. Smiling Reduces Pain

Smiling is sometimes referred to as a “natural drug” due to the release of pain-relieving hormones when smiling. Cleveland Clinic explains that “endorphin comes from the words “endogenous,” which means within the body, and “morphine,” an opiate pain reliever. Put together, that means endorphins are natural pain relievers. They are “feel-good” chemicals because they can make you feel better and put you in a positive state of mind.”

4. Smiling Leads to Better Relationships

Smiling, like laughter, is contagious. Smiling communicates happiness, agreement, and inclusion when interacting with another person or a group of people. Generally speaking, people want those around them to be happy, understanding, and inclusive. Smiling is a nonverbal way to provide reassurance and community within relationships, resulting in increased trust, closeness, and desire to be around one another.

5. Smiling Increases Work Productivity

“Happy workers are 13% more productive,” finds Oxford University's Saïd Business School, in collaboration with British multinational telecoms firm BT. Happy workers do not work longer hours — they are more productive within the same timeframe. As previously mentioned, smiling elevates your mood, relieves stress, reduces pain, and contributes to better relationships. Boosting your mood at work and forming stronger relationships in-office enables you to be viewed as a likable team player. Relieving daily stress and pain allows your brain to be free of jumbled and negative thoughts while focusing on the tasks at hand.

Being a happier, harder worker no doubt benefits your employer, but it primarily benefits you. Being happier and more productive at work means that for 40 hours every week, you are more likely to experience workplace satisfaction, be considered for promotions, and reclaim the opportunity to have something to smile about.

The Team at Aesthetic Family Dentistry Is Here to Help

There are numerous benefits of smiling, but unfortunately, not everyone is born with a smile they want to flash. Our highly experienced team is committed to providing every patient with a welcoming environment and outstanding care. Your total health goes hand-in-hand with your oral health, so taking the time to care for your teeth will lead to a happier, healthier you.

Contact our team online or call us at (845) 209-2500 today to get on your path to a beautiful smile!