Recently, my eldest daughter was introduced to the classic musical “Annie”, and has become slightly obsessed with it. As a result, over the past few weeks, my house has been filled with the music of “Annie” as we have watched at least part of the film daily. One of the numbers in the musical, “You’re Never Fully Dressed Without a Smile,” got me to thinking, what is so special about a smile?
First off, research shows that smiling results in a number of health benefits in human beings. When you smile or laugh, a number of physiological changes occur in your body, mostly without you even being aware of them happening. Two big players in this are the neurotransmitters called endorphins, and the hormone called cortisol.
When you smile, you are stimulating your body to release endorphins. Endorphin release is triggered by the movements of the muscles in your face, both around your mouth and eyes. These muscle movements are interpreted by your brain, which in turn releases these chemicals into your body.
So how do endorphins help you to stay healthy? Well, first off, endorphins are believed to be responsible for making us feel happy. Additionally to producing feelings of euphoria, these neurotransmitters play a part in reducing appetite, and also enhance the immune response. With high endorphin levels, we feel less pain and fewer negative effects of stress and they also act as a natural painkiller. Lastly, the release of endorphins results in a reduction of the hormone cortisol. Cortisol is a hormone that is active when we feel stressed or anxious and by lowering it we reduce negative feelings.
In addition to improving health, a smile can also have a positive affect in other areas of your life. Smiling is an attractive expression, which is more likely to draw people to you rather than push them away.Smiling makes you appear more approachable. Interaction with others is easier and more enjoyable when smiles and laughs are shared. It’s often said that a smile is contagious, and can make others feel better too. Ultimately, a happy, positive expression will serve you well in life.
So, as can be seen, smiling is an important part of a healthy lifestyle. That’s why we here at L&M Orthodontics feel so strongly about creating beautiful smiles. If you love your smile, please show it off. If not, give us a call, and we’ll see if we can get you on the way to a beautiful smile you’ve always deserved.