Smile, It’s Good For You

One of the benefits of having a healthy mouth is that you have a smile you can be proud of. A smile can be more than the outward expression of pleasure. As our Livonia family dentist, Dr. James Stewart, can tell you, smiling can boost your health and inspire people around you.

It’s Like Medicine

Smiling and having a positive attitude can improve both your psychological and physical health. Here are a few reasons why you should put a smile on your face:

  • Smiling reduces stress. The next time you are feeling overwhelmed, stop and smile. You will look less stressed and your demeanor will follow suit.
  • Smiling makes you more attractive. Scowls, frowns, and glares push people away. A smile draws people in — and then you have something new to smile about.
  • Smiling makes you look younger. When we smile, the muscles in our face tighten upward, lifting our countenance. Take a few years off your appearance by smiling.
  • Smiling kills pain and elevates mood. Turning our frown upside down releases endorphins, serotonin, and natural pain killers. Smiling is like taking happy pills and brings a new meaning to the phrase “high on life.”
  • Smiling lowers blood pressure. Smiling quantifiably lowers blood pressure. Test it out with an at-home blood pressure monitor or the one at your local drug store. Take a reading and then smile for one minute. While continuing to smile, take another reading.
  • Smiling boosts immune function. When we are stressed, our body releases the hormone cortisol, which suppresses immune function. Smiling reduces cortisol levels, thus increasing our ability to fight infection.

A Two-Way Street

Not only does smiling improve our health, it appears that our health increases our proclivity to smile. A study published in the Journal of Periodontology reports that people with healthy gums smile more. The study followed 21 patients in a periodontal graduate clinic and found that smile patterns and smile-related quality of life correlated with periodontal health. The authors concluded that poor periodontal health may keep people from expressing positive emotions, hindering their self-image and social interaction.

Something to Smile About

The best way to keep your smile healthy is to visit Dr. Stewart regularly. To schedule an appointment, call our Livonia dental office at (734) 425-4400. We serve patients from Novi, Farmington Hills, Plymouth, Dearborn, and the surrounding areas.