Andrea Stevens Dentistry Why is smiling good for your health Three women laughing on the beach

What Are the Benefits of Smiling?

How many times do you smile every day?

Do you grin every time your favourite song comes on the radio or when you’re spending time with your friends and family?

All of those small moments add up.

The average happy adult smiles 40-50 times a day, but the typical adult only smiles 20 times. If you think that’s a big difference, consider that children smile 400 times a day.

Studies have shown that there are more than aesthetic benefits.

Smiling is also good for your health

Not only can it improve your mood, cracking a smile tells your body to release molecules called neuropeptides that work to fight off stress. A University of Kansas study found that smiling when you’re stressed can reduce the intensity. This works whether you’re actually happy or not.

In addition to being an excellent stress relief, smiling also:

  • Reduces blood pressure and your risk of heart disease: smiling and laughing increase your heart rate, relax the muscle, and then decrease your heart rate and blood pressure.
  • Increases endurance: perceived effort, which is how hard you feel your body is working, is one of the most important factors in endurance. If you’re smiling, your perceived effort may be lower and your athletic performance may be enhanced.
  • Reduces pain: Your body releases natural painkillers called endorphins when you laugh.
  • Strengthens your immune system: Laughing and thinking positively increases your immune response, making you less prone to diseases.
  • Releases endorphins: Endorphins are the hormones that make you feel happy. When you smile, your body releases dopamine and serotonin that boost your mood and relax you.

In addition to the health benefits, smiling can help you in your interpersonal life.

Smiling makes you more approachable

Research has proven that laughter – and even smiling – is contagious.

According to Professor Sophie Scott, when you smile or laugh, your positivity will be mirrored, which helps you form stronger relationships and nurture a positive setting.

It strengthens relationships

In a 2015 study, researchers interviewed 71 couples on how they met. The results showed that the amount of laughter involved in the conversation was closely related to the overall quality of the relationship and how close the couple was.

When you laugh with someone, you’re sharing an experience with them, which in turn, strengthens your bond and deepens your relationship.

It may make you live longer

A 15-year Norwegian study that was released in 2016 found that women with strong senses of humour lived longer than those who don’t. The study showed that they were 73% less likely to die from heart disease and 83% less likely to die from infection. Men with senses of humour were 74% less likely to die from infection.

When you laugh, you’re stimulating your heart and other muscles to decrease your heart rate and blood pressure, and you’re also enhancing the quality of the oxygen you breathe in. In addition to these benefits, it may help stop the physical signs of aging.

The benefits of smiling are clear. But what if you don’t like your smile?

If you’ve been hiding your smile from the world because you’re missing a few teeth or you don’t like the colour or shape of them, reach out to Dr. Andrea Stevens for an evaluation to get you on the right track to the smile of your dreams.

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