The Psychology of Smiles: How Your Smile Affects Your Mood
Have you ever noticed how confident and happy people seem when they have a nice, bright smile? There are some scientific and psychological reasons for this, extending far beyond the simple fact that smilers often have great teeth. Oral health plays a significant part in maintaining a smile you can be proud of, and as we’ll find out, there are plenty of reasons to share your smile with the world.
Releasing happy hormones
Before we get too far into the psychology of smiles, let’s briefly consider the physiological effects of smiling. It’s fair to say that people who smile more are generally happier, but not just because they’ve got a smile on their faces.
There is a scientific reason that smiling makes us feel good, and it’s all related to hormones. It’s been estimated that the human body has over 50 different hormones that control different bodily functions. When it comes to happiness, the three key hormones are serotonin, dopamine and endorphins.
When you smile, the human body creates its own reward system. For smiling, your brain receives a signal that it can release dopamine, endorphins and serotonin, all known as happy hormones. As a result, the more you smile, the happier you become.
You likely don’t enjoy smiling very much if you have misaligned, missing or decaying teeth. In fact, for those with poor oral hygiene, it can make them feel uncomfortable to flash a smile in public. In contrast, people with bright, beautiful smiles almost always smile and laugh. In part, this is because they’re confident to do so.
People with bad teeth often hide their smiles because it causes low self-esteem. We’ve already touched on the benefits of smiling more, so it’s reasonable to say that those who hide their smiles miss out on a crucial happy hormone boost.
Dental procedures to fix your teeth can greatly impact your self-esteem, giving you more to laugh and smile about. In turn, you get all those happy hormones flowing through your body, improving your mood.
Being more approachable
When you see people smiling, they usually seem quite approachable. That’s because we’re naturally drawn to happy people, and our brain starts asking more questions if someone near us doesn’t look happy. A bright smile certainly makes you more approachable, leading to more social interactions and human connections.
Basically, smiling and laughter are contagious. It’s because the human brain often attempts to mirror the behaviour of others, especially in social settings. So, if you’re more approachable thanks to your beautiful smile, you’ll find you enjoy social interactions and activities more.
When you’re stressed about something, it’s often difficult to smile. But smiling has so many benefits that it’s worth trying, even when you’re anxious about something. The body’s stress hormone is called cortisol. While smiling and laughing don’t necessarily reduce your cortisol levels, the endorphins released while smiling do.
Endorphins have the ability to counteract cortisol’s effect on the body, therefore reducing your stress. So, even if you have to fake a smile, give it a try next time you’re worried about something, and see if it has a positive effect.
Invisalign for a straighter smile
We often talk about teeth whitening procedures and surgical ways to improve your smile, but that may not always be necessary, especially if you have crooked teeth. Invisalign in Parramatta is a great way to correct misaligned teeth regardless of age. Unlike traditional braces, Invisalign is almost invisible and much less permanent.
The process involves using clear, removable aligners that gradually shift your teeth into the correct alignment. Typically, you use the same aligners for around two weeks before swapping for different ones. This ensures your teeth are constantly being corrected. The process usually takes around 12 months, which makes it faster and far easier than standard braces.
Need help improving your smile?
Dental Avenue in Parramatta is your first choice if you’d like to explore options for improving your smile. We offer a range of corrective procedures as well as cosmetic dentistry. If your teeth are missing, crooked, or even stained, we have solutions to restore your smiling confidence. Contact the friendly team at Dental Avenue in Parramatta today and ask about dental cleaning, checkups or an Invisalign assessment in Parramatta.