Updated: May 29
Children smile approximately 400 times a day, while adults smile 40 to 50 times a day. Smiling is a natural way of expressing how we feel at any given moment. Unfortunately, for many adults suffering from missing teeth or other dental issues, smiling makes them feel vulnerable to judgement. As a result, they either do not smile, or find creative ways hide dental issues while smiling.
When we refrain from smiling, we rob ourselves us of the many positive effects of a simple smile. Everything else being equal, here are five life-changing benefits of smiling:
Health: Smiling triggers the release of cortisol (stress regulation hormone) and the endorphins (pleasure hormones). These hormones reduce stress, pain, and blood pressure, while strengthening the immune system and improving endurance. All of this from a simple smile.
Likability: A genuine smile strongly conveys trustworthiness and confidence, which are attributes that significantly improve one's likability. The reverse is true, smiling awkwardly or refraining from smiling in situations that call for a smile, convey attributes like meanness, untrustworthiness, and/or general unfriendliness, thereby reducing one's likability. As you can imagine, being likable goes a long way in enhancing romantic, social and workplace interactions.
Communication: As humans, we have the most advanced form of communication, which includes verbal and non-verbal communication. Non-verbal communication methods like smiling, can add emotional context to our words. For example, if you are telling someone how happy you are about seeing them after such a long time, a genuine smile adds a lot of credibility to your words.
Mood: Smiling enhances our mood, as well as the mood of the people around us. Have you ever noticed yourself smiling after seeing someone else smiling? Smiling not only makes you happier but the infectious nature of a smile improves the mood of people around you, in turn, they treat you better.
Memories in Print: Have you ever looked at pictures of yourself with friends and family and realized that you are not smiling in any of the pictures? Pictures are meant to capture moments in time, allowing us to relive these moments.
If you refrain from smiling because of dental issues, please understand that you deserve to show up in the world as the person you truly are. Replacing missing teeth or correcting dental issues that prevent you from smiling could change your life in more ways than you imagined.