You probably feel like smiling if you’ve just returned from the dentist. After all, now’s the best time to show your gorgeous grin to friends and family! Still, the perks of revealing your pearly whites aren’t just cosmetic and social. Various health benefits of smiling also exist. Indeed, showing your chompers has several positive effects on your body and mind. Your Naples dentist can even prove this claim. Here, then, are five health benefits related to smiling.
If you feel calmer when you smile, it’s not a coincidence. Current research shows that smiling relieves your body’s stress levels.
For example, consider a UC Irvine study done in 2012. It found that smiling after a stressful task causes a steeper decline in heart rate. Similarly, its researchers confirmed that smilers had a quicker physical recovery from stress. They believe these results are due to how smiles send ‘safety’ signals to the brain.
Smiling, in truth, does more than ease negative emotions. It also dulls your sense of pain.
You see, your body releases certain chemicals when you smile. Several of these substances – endorphins, serotonin, etc. – are natural painkillers. Taken together, they both relax your body and reduce physical discomfort. Smiling, in other words, is like a pain-relieving medication.
Next time you’re feeling down, put a smile on your face. Forced or not, smiling can trigger a happier mood.
It all comes down to how a grin affects the brain. In truth, showing your pearly whites stimulates the pleasure area in your brain. The act also releases dopamine and serotonin – neurotransmitters known to boost mood.
Better Immune System
Surprisingly enough, smiling can also strengthen your immune system. As for why that’s the case, there seem to be at least two reasons.
For starters, researchers at Loma Linda University found that smiles increase your white blood cell count. Since these cells fight infection, your teeth basically protect you from illness!
Secondly, the way smiles relieve stress causes improved immune function. A calmer body, apparently, is a more disease-resistant one.
Best of all, a smile could well lengthen your lifespan. One study found that intense smiling is associated with longer life.
The reasons behind the smile-longevity connection aren’t well-understood. Recently, some scientists have speculated that a positive mood (which can cause and result from smiling) is essential to a healthy lifestyle.
Ultimately, the health benefits of smiling show that a toothy grin is more than pretty. As such, don’t be afraid to show the effects of your recent dental visits.
About the Practice
Island Coast Dentistry is based in Naples, FL. Led by Dr. Jeffrey Skupny, our practice provides top-notch dentistry in a relaxing, stress-free environment. To that end, we customize our preventive, cosmetic, and restorative services for each patient’s unique needs. Our team is thus sure to give you a healthy, gorgeous grin at your next visit! For more information or to book an appointment, you can reach them on their website or by phone at (952)-448-2868.