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The Psychology of a Smile

Our face says so much about us. From our eyes down to our mouths, each expression tells a story about what you’re thinking and what you’re feeling. 

Our expressions typically come naturally, but that’s not the case when we’re trying to hide anything in particular. We may hide our eyes behind sunglasses, although your eyebrows may still give some hints to thoughts and emotions. And, if we don’t like our teeth, or the way we smile, we might hide that too.

This perfect expression of happiness is important for everyone to share, but according to a study by the National Center for Health Insurance Standards, many of the 75 percent of people who could fix their smile with an orthodontic treatment don’t know that’s what’s causing the problem. 

If something is stopping you from letting your smile loose, it’s time to do something about it.

Why you should smile

Yes, smiling brightens your face and shows others you’re happy, but this single expression can do so much for you.

When we smile it can:

  • Make you more approachable
  • Make you more attractive
  • Help improve relationships
  • Increase your positivity
  • Aid in productivity at work
  • Reduce stress and negativity
  • Reduce pain

Simply put, smiling just makes things better, so when you don’t do it, you’re doing yourself a disservice.

Changing up your mood

Smiling can put an immediate spin on a negative mood, giving you a more positive outlook. The physical act of smiling releases neurotransmitters in your brain that help you feel good. Making sure you do it regularly can help combat feelings of depression and lower your stress level.

Smiling at work can help you establish better relationships with your colleagues since it makes you approachable and can put others at ease so they trust you more. It can help put them in a good mood as well. 

Smiling can also increase your own productivity since it may reduce stress levels. When you feel less stressed, you work harder and more efficiently.

Contributing to good health

Smiling may help set your mood, but it can also play a part in your health. When you smile, your body releases natural chemicals that can serve as painkillers. As this restores your mood, which also plays a factor in how you experience pain, it’s addressing your discomfort on a chemical level internally. This not only can improve your physical well-being, but also your mental health too.

You can also potentially lower your blood pressure with a smile and possibly live longer.

Smiling may even go one step further and increase the capabilities of your immune system. When our immune system is down, it’s easier to get sick, but when you smile, your body produces more infection-fighting antibodies and immunity cells. These are what go to work on keeping you healthy.

Why you might hide your smile

Knowing how important your smile is makes it even harder when you’re insecure about what’s hiding behind it. Having a grin you don’t love because of your teeth means hiding away this important facial expression.

People may feel insecure about their smile if their teeth are:

  • Crooked
  • Mis-aligned
  • Discolored 
  • Crowded in or too spread out

For discolored teeth, talk to your dentist about teeth whitening, or get a kit you can do at home. If any of the other issues are keeping your smile hidden, it may be time to consider orthodontics.

Getting your smile back

Using aligners to address specific issues with your mouth offers you a discreet way to correct problems that are preventing you from smiling. Aligners are not braces – they create an aesthetic option that historically wasn’t on the table for dentists or orthodontists.  The beauty of aligners, is the technical advancements beyond just straightening your teeth, but also giving you a “functional occlusion”.

Talk to your dentist today about your options and let them know you’re interested in aligners from ODO. Our process means minimal visits to the dentist with amazing results. You simply follow the plan set out by your clinician, take Dental Monitoring scans weekly and only go into the clinic when absolutely required.

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