Your smile can lead to a whole lot of benefits.
How much do you know about smiles, other than you’re never fully dressed without one? You might have flashed your signature grin thousands of times, but there’s still so much to learn about the power that it holds.
Today, we’re sharing 10 fascinating facts about smiles that reveal just how valuable and incredible they truly are. From the thought-provoking to the quirky, these little-known truths are sure to help you put on a happy face!
1. They Can Boost Your Mood
Have you ever forced a smile? Chances are, every reader is nodding affirmatively.
While it can feel a little cheesy to upturn your lips when you don’t feel like it, this simple act could turn your whole day around. Scientists reveal that smiling and laughing can deliver major health benefits.
How does it work? When you smile, you release feel-good endorphins that help your mind and body fight off stress. The result is an uptick in your mood and happiness level, even if it’s just for a short while.
2. They Improve Your Confidence
The next time your self-esteem takes a little dip, look in the mirror and smile. When you’re alone, those endorphins you feel from smiling all funnel right back to you! When you’re happier and more at ease, your confidence levels can also improve.
Of course, when your reflection reveals healthy teeth and gums, you’ll especially love what you see. By brushing, flossing, and visiting your dentist regularly, you can keep your smile in great shape. If you have missing teeth or any issues you’re self-conscious about, a cosmetic dentist can help you find the treatments you need.
3. There Are Many Different Kinds
You only have one trademark smile, right? Not quite! While the jury is still out on exactly how many smiles we can flash, we do know there are at least 10 different types.
One of those is your embarrassed smile, which is usually accompanied by a downward turn of the head and a shifting of your gaze. Then, there’s your lying smile, your polite smile, your wistful smile, and many more!
- Of the different kinds, researchers have identified three primary smile types. These include your reward, affiliative, and dominance smiles. Which one will you showcase today?
4. They’re Contagious
The benefits of smiles aren’t just personal to you. They can also spread to others around you! In fact, studies show that smiles are actually contagious! In this way, they’re just like the flu but with much better side effects.
What does this mean and how does it work? In short, it all ties back into how our brains perceive a smile. Not only does our brain react when we smile, but it has the same reaction when we witness someone else doing the same.
A smile activates the reward center in our brain, making us feel better and brighter. Plus, thanks to a phenomenon known as the facial feedback hypothesis, we’re automatically nudged to send a one back in return. The result? A continuously cheery chain reaction that can improve everyone’s mood!
5. Babies Are Born With Them
Before scientists proved otherwise, it was believed that babies weren’t born with the ability to smile. While their social smile won’t develop until around two months of age, they are born with a smile reflex!
If you study a newborn’s face, it’s not uncommon to catch them smiling sweetly when they’re sleeping, or when they feel especially content. Wouldn’t you do the same if you could nap all day?
6. They Project Productivity
While a great smile isn’t all you need to land your dream job, it certainly won’t hurt your chances. According to one study, employees who smiled more and seemed happier overall were also more productive in the workplace.
The consensus is that positive emotions tend to invigorate and inspire humans, while negative emotions have the opposite effect. If a prospective employer catches you smiling, you just might convince them you’re up to the task!
7. They Strengthen Your Immune System
When a smile gives way to laughter, you can help improve your well-being from the inside out. The act of laughing increases your body’s immune cells, as well as your number of infection-blasting antibodies. Both of these factors help improve your resistance level and make you less susceptible to diseases and illnesses.
8. They Give You a Younger Appearance
No, a smile can’t actually take years off of your age. However, the effects are pretty close. One study showed that smiling and laughing can contribute to a younger-looking appearance. How did the researchers reach this conclusion? They showed images of different people to study participants. When the participants viewed the people with happy expressions, they guessed their age as younger compared to the same people expressing negative emotions.
A second study confirmed these findings and even explained that the intensity of your smile can affect your perceived age. In this one, researchers found that maximal smiles consistently reduced age estimations.
9. They Relieve Stress
Feeling the pressure of an impending deadline? You don’t have to pour a fifth cup of coffee and stress in your office. Instead, try smiling a little! When you do, you’ll activate your body’s natural stress response. This quick action can help you recover from the stressful situation quicker. Turns out, there’s actual merit to the phrase, “Grin and bear it!”
10. They Can Lower Blood Pressure
What exactly happens to your heart when you smile or laugh? In one study, researchers found that engaging in these activities can cause immediate changes in your heart health. Most notably, smiling increases your:
- heart rate.
- respiratory rate.
- respiratory depth.
- total oxygen consumption.
Then, when you relax, these sensations give way to a period of soothing muscle relaxation, followed by a lower heart rate and lower blood pressure. The bottom line? Smiling makes you feel great and helps you look your best. Even when it’s hard to muster one, it’s always worth it.
Facts About Smiles: Keep Yours Healthy and Bright
You don’t need to have a megawatt grin to reap the benefits we’ve discussed in these 10 facts about smiles! However, when yours looks great, you’re more willing to show it off and enjoy the aftermath. This is where we come in.
A great smile makeover dentist understands smile psychology and can help you feel confident about yours. From Invisalign to crowns and implants, we have the tools, technology, and experience required to transform your look.
Request an appointment today and claim the smile you’ve always wanted!