• John M

These 10 Health Benefits Show Why You Need to Smile More

We are all born with the ability to smile – it is estimated that children smile as much as 400 times per day. As we grow older, however, we tend to give up on smiling – the average happy adult will smile 40 to 50 times per day while the typical adult smiles 20 times per day.

Whether you call it a beam, smirk, or smile, there is no denying the power that the simple happy facial expression has over our health. The professional orthodontists at Straight Teeth Invisible created this detailed guide to show you the health benefits of smiling. We hope that after learning of the benefits they have been missing out on, adults will try to smile as much as children do.

10 Health Benefits of Smiling

1. Smiling Improves Mood

When you smile, your body releases endorphins, which, in turn, make you feel more positive and happier. Studies published in Scientific American found that smiling – and other happy facial expressions – are capable of increasing positive thoughts and improving mood.

2. Smiling Helps with Pain Relief

A research study conducted by the University of California determined that a smile – or a simple grimace – can easily reduce the pain of an injection by over 40%. Smiling can also help relieve other types of body pains and aches.

As noted earlier, smiling triggers the release of endorphins. Research shows that endorphins can act as a body’s natural painkiller.

3. Smiling Can Lower Blood Pressure

Smiling – even when forced or fake – could have a positive impact on your blood pressure. Research shows that laughter lowers blood pressure after causing an initial increase in breathing and heart rate. Smiling, on the other hand, has been shown to reduce the heart rate in stressful situations.

4. Smiling Can Boost Your Immune System

Smiling can boost your overall health by ensuring the immune system is functioning optimally. Researchers believe that when someone smiles, his or her immune function improves because he/she is more relaxed.

5. Smiling is a Good Stress Reliever

When someone smiles, their brain releases tiny molecules known as neuropeptides – these molecules fight off stress. Other neurotransmitters also come into play too – these include endorphins, serotonin, and dopamine.

As noted earlier, endorphins act as a natural pain reliever. Serotonin, on the other hand, is a natural antidepressant. One study published by the Association for Psychological Science in 2012 showed that smiling can speed up the rate at which people recover from stress.

6. Smiling Can Help You Build Better Relationships

A research study published in 2014 found that people who smile more are more likable. When you become likable, your chances of creating and maintaining relationships with people increase.

While building better relationships may not seem like a health benefit, having good relationships with the right people will benefit your overall well-being.

7. Smiling Can Make You Younger

While smiling will not make your age decrease, laughing and smiling more often will create the illusion that you are younger.

A study conducted by Psychology and Aging determined that when people were asked to look at photos of happy faces and guess the age, they guessed the age of the happy face as younger compared to a photo of the same individual with an angry expression.

8. Smiling Increases Endurance

One of the most vital factors when it comes to endurance is perceived effort. Perceived effort refers to how hard someone feels their body is working. Smiling can help reduce the perceived effort, hence increasing athletic performance.

One research study determined that runners use less energy when working out if they deliberately smile through their workout sessions. The study also determined that runners had a much higher perceived effort if they were frowning during their workout as opposed to smiling.

9. Smiling May Lower Heart Disease Risk

CDC reports that heart disease is one of the leading causes of death in the US. High blood pressure is a key risk factor for heart disease.

As noted earlier, smiling can reduce the heart rate – this, in turn, lowers the blood pressure. Because smiling lowers blood pressure, adding smiles to your day may boost your heart health, putting you at a lower risk of heart disease.

10. Smiling Relieves Anxiety

Stress and anxiety tend to go hand in hand – one triggers the other. Since smiling is very effective in reducing stress, it may also relieve anxiety. A research study published by the Journal of Maternity Care and Reproductive Health determined that smile therapy was effective in reducing anxiety in pregnant women.

Straighten Your Teeth: If You Are Confident About Your Smile, You Will Smile More

One of the reasons a large number of people avoid smiling is that they are not very confident about their smile. Having crooked teeth can make you think that everyone is judging you when you smile. Luckily for you, working with a professional orthodontist will fix your teeth, allowing you to smile confidently.

The orthodontists at Straight Teeth Invisible deal with crooked teeth on a case-by-case basis. When you book your free e-consult, a specialized orthodontist will evaluate your case to come up with a solution that works for you.

Using invisible teeth aligners, the orthodontist will give you a perfect smile. What’s more, before recommending transparent teeth aligners, the orthodontists at Straight Teeth Invisible will guide you through the prep stage, ensuring that your teeth are 100% ready before installing the dental braces.

Helping you whiten your teeth and treat other dental problems before getting your transparent teeth aligners, Straight Teeth Invisible ensures your teeth are impeccable by the time you remove the dental braces.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Why do we smile?

We smile for several reasons, the main ones being:

  • To show happiness

  • To put people at ease

  • To show complex emotions

Regardless of the reasons behind a smile, however, the health benefits of smiling remain the same. It is worth noting that even fake smiles do carry health benefits.

What are the different types of smiles?

Different types of smiles exist – the most common include:

  • Duchenne smile – This is the true smile of happiness. The smile combines upturned mouth corners and happy crinkled eyes that create little wrinkles resembling crow’s feet.

  • Forced smile – Also called the Pan Am smile, the forced smile was named after the Pan Am flight attendants who were forced to keep smiling despite frustrations from customers. The forced smile is characterized by overly exposed teeth.

  • Uncomfortable smile – This type of smile is generally used to ease uncomfortable situations. Much like the forced smile, uncomfortable smiles do not reach the eyes.

  • Polite smile – This smile is used to ease social situations, communicating friendliness. The smile is generally low intensity and tight-lipped.

  • Sarcastic smile – While this smile suggests positive emotions, the eyes give it away with a disdainful look. The smile is small and features narrowed eyes.

Is smiling contagious?

Smiling features the power to change not only your mood but also the moods of others. We are hardwired to mimic the expressions of other people. When you smile, you can make everyone around you smile – this means that smiling is contagious.

Can smiling make you live longer?

Research suggests that smiling can expand lifespan.

A study conducted in 2010 looked at the pictures of MLB players and rated their smile intensity. The study concluded that the MLB players who smiled fully had a longer lifespan compared to those who smiled less.