The Health Benefits Of Smiling

Dr. Christopher Li Etobicoke - Li Family Dental

By Dr. Christopher Li

June 29, 2023

health and wellness, health benefits of smiling, smiling

Few things have the ability to disarm people quite like a genuine smile. This simple facial expression is a powerful tool in human communication that speaks volumes. While a bright and vibrant smile is often associated with good oral health, the overall health benefits of smiling extend far beyond aesthetics. Smiling has been found to offer a range of health benefits, from reducing stress to releasing happy chemicals like neuropeptides, serotonin, dopamine, and endorphins. Different types of smiles can convey different emotions, but the key to reaping all these health benefits is to ensure your smile is genuine and positive. (Although, even faking a smile can offer some advantages!)

There Are Different Types Of Smiles

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There is a diverse range of smiles that can express a variety of emotions or sentiments, and not all of them positive. Some of the most prevalent types of smiles represent reward, affiliation, dominance, lying, wistfulness, politeness, flirtation, embarrassment, and genuine enjoyment or Duchenne smiles. Each of these smiles has a unique purpose and can communicate different meanings, but they all involve the act of smiling in some way.

Bring On The Happy Chemicals

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Did you know that smiling can release a host of chemicals that provide a range of health benefits? When you flash a grin, your brain releases tiny molecules called neuropeptides that combat stress. Moreover, the release of neurotransmitters like serotonin, dopamine, and endorphins occurs, with serotonin acting as a natural antidepressant and endorphins functioning as mild pain relievers. So, why not smile more often, knowing that these “happy chemicals” are being released?

The Real-Life Health Benefits Of Smiling

It makes sense that a natural and genuine smile shows confidence and self-esteem. But there are a whole host of other not-so-obvious health benefits of smiling that may surprise you, such as…

Alleviating Anxiety & Depression

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Anxiety is a common struggle in today’s fast-paced world, affecting people from all walks of life. While it’s important not to underestimate the impact of mental health issues, the simple act of smiling can have a positive impact on mood and anxiety levels. When you smile, your brain releases more serotonin, which can help alleviate feelings of anxiety and depression. And if your mood is preventing you from flashing a genuine smile, just fake it – get one out there anyways from muscle memory and see how much better you feel.

Boosting Self-Confidence

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Smiling can boost self-confidence and self-esteem, as it radiates positive energy that attracts others and makes you feel good about yourself. Additionally, the dopamine boost from smiling can further increase happy feelings. Since self-confidence and self-esteem are often in short supply these days, any help you can get is worth the effort, especially when it’s free and as easy as a smile. We all know how rare it is to see confident people that don’t have a smile on their face, so give it a try and see what happens.

Peace Of Mind & A Sense Of Well-Being

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Smiling has the power to create a general sense of well-being that can improve your daily life. Rather than waiting for something external to make you smile, simply smiling for the sake of smiling can increase your sense of well-being and allow you to navigate through life feeling great, regardless of your individual circumstances. When you feel a general sense of peace and well-being in all you do, it feels as though anything is possible, and many of the fears that typically hold you back are no longer an issue.

Improving Your Heart Health

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Did you know that smiling can lower your heart rate and promote relaxation, reducing the risk of heart disease? Frequent smiling and laughter have been shown to prevent heart disease, and smiling can also temporarily reduce blood pressure. Given that heart problems are a major cause of health issues and fatalities, it’s wise to take any help you can get. The best part is that smiling is free, and you can give yourself this treatment anytime, anywhere.

Adding On Extra Years

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It’s fascinating to think that simply smiling more could add years to your life! When you smile, you release feel-good chemicals that boost your mood, and this positivity can have an impact on your overall health and well-being. While there hasn’t been a ton of research on this topic, the evidence we do have certainly suggests that smiling more often could be a helpful strategy for increasing your lifespan.

Increasing Your Appeal To Others

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Have you ever been captivated by someone’s smile? It’s no surprise that smiling can make you more approachable and appealing to others in both personal and professional situations. Smiling is contagious, and people around you may be inspired to smile as well. A genuine smile can leave a lasting impression, whether it’s a chance meeting or a planned encounter. Not only that, but a genuine smile can make you appear more youthful and attractive. With all these benefits, it’s clear that smiling can significantly improve your social life and make you more appealing to others, which can only boost your personal and professional relationships.

Increasing Positive Feelings

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Smiling has a powerful effect on our emotions, and one of the benefits is that it can improve our positivity. It’s difficult to focus on negative thoughts when you have a genuine smile on your face, even if the smile feels forced at first. Our brains have been programmed since childhood to associate smiling with positive emotions, so that natural instinct typically prevails, meaning negativity gets pushed aside when you smile. You can even try an experiment by putting on a big smile and attempting to think negative thoughts without losing the smile. Bet you can’t do it!

Working With Our Team At Li Family Dental

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Working with our team of dental experts in Etobicoke means you’ll be treated just like a member of the family from start to finish. Our goal is to ensure your oral health is right where it should be and that you have a healthy smile to show the rest of the world. We also offer high-quality cosmetic dentistry services that will fix any problems affecting the radiance of your smile.

To see how we can help give you the smile you deserve, give us a call at 416-232-2033 or request an appointment by clicking here.

Dr. Christopher Li

About the author

Doctor Christopher Li, DDS
Dr. Chris, as he is affectionately known, is a licensed dentist with over 20 years experience. His caring personality makes even the most tentative person at ease. Patients are constantly commenting about how Dr. Chris is incredible at delivering pain-free freezing, and how he has an amazing chair-side manner.  Dr. Chris loves sharing information with his patients and everyone who has teeth about how to care for their teeth, avoid tooth decay, and the treatments available to help them overcome their tooth pain or other dental issues so they can enjoy life and food to its fullest!

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