Invest in Your Smile for Better Mental Health

mental health awareness

It’s Mental Health Awareness Month: Smile for Better Mental Health

Women do it more than men. It usually lasts under four seconds. It causes a mirror reaction. It’s so incredibly simple — but also very complex!

What is it we’re talking about? Hint: it’s one of Dr. E’s favorite topics — smiling! In fact, there’s more to a smile than meets the eye. Not only does a bright, confident smile make a great impression, it is also a linked to better mental health.

In support of National Mental Health Month this May, the Dr. E Cosmetic and Family Dentistry team wants to share the following research about the mental health benefits of smiling — and we are also happy to share some of the ways we help our patients improve their smiles and self-confidence!  

The science behind smiling

Bring on the endorphins! Smiling increases the amount of endorphins (hormones that boost your mood) while spurring the release of serotonin, which reduces stress. In turn, smiling tempers the brain’s release of stress-inducing hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline.

The smile-brain-body connection. A single smile can lower both your heart rate and blood pressure. Even a fake or forced smile can trick the brain by activating the body’s relaxation response, lowering heart rate and increasing feelings of happiness.  

Smile more and live longer! Psychoneruoimmuonology, the study of how the brain is impacted by the immune system, proves that depression weakens the immune system while smiling and happiness bolster it and improve the body’s resistance. Study upon study shows that smiling can boost your immune system and even prolong your life! This equates to better mental health.

Smiling and sensory rewards. Respondents in another study experienced more sensory rewards when presented with images of smiling vs unsmiling faces. They also rated the smiling faces as the most attractive. So there is actual science behind smiling your way to a great first impression!

What your smile reveals about you

We’ve shared how smiling can make you look and feel better, but your smile also sends a powerful message to those around you. Share it proudly and often to reap the following benefits:

Positive connections. You give off “friendly vibes” when you smile! A smile shows others that you are confident, approachable, trustworthy and open to social interaction. By smiling, you open the door to making social connections that enhance mental health.

Credibility. An authentic smile helps you to build credibility with those around you — especially in the workplace. Employers and colleagues reportedly consider their “smiling” coworkers to be more honest, driven, optimistic and dependable. Meanwhile, workers who rarely smiled were assumed to be deceitful or disingenuous.

Smile… it’s contagious! When you flash a big, natural smile, it tends to be contagious. One sparkling smile begets another smile in return, which fosters connections and positivity. This helps reinforce self-esteem, bolsters happiness and boosts overall mental health.

Improving your smile for better mental health

The Dr. E Cosmetic and Family Dentistry team wants to remind you that we offer simple, safe dental cosmetic procedures to help you smile your way to better mental health! While we recommend cosmetic treatments to patients based on their unique dental issues and goals, our primary objective is to help you transform your smile for better self-esteem and confidence. Here are some of the ways we help you achieve this:

Tooth whitening. Dr. E offers patients a professional, in-office Zoom teeth-whitening treatment and she also offers custom teeth-whitening gel trays for convenient at-home treatments. Both options are safe, effective and yield amazing, natural results.

Tooth bonding. This procedure uses strong, safe bonding materials, such as resins and porcelains, to help close unsightly gaps and repair chipped teeth. The end-result is to help you achieve a natural-looking, confident smile.

Dental veneers. Thin, custom-made shells are applied to the teeth to comfortably and beautifully transform your smile. Veneers are ideal for correcting small gaps and making the teeth appear more uniform.

Smiling more frequently can help you ease stress, increase happiness and bolster self-confidence, which contributes to optimal mental health. During Mental Health Awareness Month and beyond, don’t let insecurities about your smile hold you back from being the best version of yourself. Invest in your smile and build self-confidence!

Contact our office today: 480-494-2435.