At Dr. K Ashraf Dentistry, we believe smiling is an important part of life and there are numerous physical and psychological benefits that come with smiling. We’ve put together a list of some of the great benefits that come from showing those pearly whites. Not only will smiling more often make you healthier and happier, it will also improve the mood of the people around you.
Smiling has a powerful effect on your body and can even help you cope with stressful situations. A study from the University of Kansas was conducted to find out how smiling can help in stressful situations.
The participants were assigned either a neutral face, a regular smile, or a Duchenne smile. A Duchenne smile uses the muscles in the cheeks and eyes in addition to the muscles that control the mouth. Its generally considered to be a more genuine smile. Each participant was given chopsticks and then taught a specific way to hold them in their mouth to simulate one of the three desired expressions during the experiment.
Participants in both smile groups had lower heart rates than the neutral face group after performing stressful tasks. Of the all the groups, the Duchenne smile group had the lowest average heart rate. The findings of this study suggest that smiling while undertaking stressful tasks can help to reduce your heart rate and make it easier to cope with a difficult situation.
Smiling can also have a powerful effect on how patients report pain levels. A study conducted by Sarah Pressman, a psychologist from the University of California at Irvine, found that people who smiled while receiving a needle reported 40% less pain than those who did not smile.
Improve Your Mood
Most people smile when they’re in a good mood. That said, did you know that the reverse is also true? The act of smiling itself can have a positive impact on your own mood. While repression of negative emotions is not healthy, finding ways to think positively in difficult situations and choosing to smile can have a major positive effect on your mood.
A great way to shift your mind in positive directions is by surrounding yourself with uplifting and supportive people that will help put a smile on your face. After all, smiling is contagious.
Smiling is Contagious
People are social and we tend to copy the behavior of the people around us. Depending on the emotions expressed, this will have a positive or negative impact on people. A study from the University of Warwick found that both the positive and negative emotions of individuals affect the mood of the people around them. Fortunately, the negative effect is not as powerful as the positive effect. So get out there and smile. It can have a profound impact on the people around you.
Helps Improve Your Immune System
Many studies show a strong relationship between positive emotions and a healthy immune system. In one study, participants were exposed to rhinovirus, the cause of the common cold, and were put into two groups. One group was given a happiness boost by being shown a funny video by a researcher, while the other group was not and served as the control group.
The group with the happiness boost was not only less likely to get sick, they also reported less severe symptoms if they did get sick. This suggests that happiness has a significant impact on our immune system.
Did you know that smiling may help you live longer? In a study out of Wayne State University, researchers examined the connection between smiling and longevity by studying 230 baseball players from the 1950’s. Using the Baseball Register, the players were put into three categories, those with no smile, a partial smile, or a full Duchenne smile.
Those with partial smiles lived an average of two years longer than players that didn’t smile. Additionally, the players that displayed the more genuine Duchenne smiles lived an average of seven years longer than the players that didn’t smile.
Healthy Smiles in Waterloo
At Dr. K Ashraf Dentistry, it is our goal to make you feel good about your smile. Dr. Ashraf features a number of cosmetic and restorative services such as root canal therapy, professional whitening, sedation dentistry, and dental implants to help you achieve the smile you’ve been dreaming about. We want to get you back on the path to a healthy, happy smile. Our Waterloo patients can schedule their next visit by calling us or filling out the contact form on our webpage.