Smiling Can Brighten Your Day

Did you ever wonder why people feel happy around children? Yes, they are cute and energetic, but research indicates it’s for another reason entirely. It’s because they smile an average of 400 times a day. It’s true. The average adult only smiles about 20 times a day. Of course, adults have more responsibilities than children, but, you can offset the stress of those responsibilities by smiling. Research indicates that smiling reduces stress, and stress can affect your dental health.  For people with beautiful teeth it is easy to smile. People who are unhappy with their smile are often embarrassed to smile which can lead to a lack in self-confidence, and may negatively affect relationships, friendships, and success in the work place. If you’re interested in improving your life by improving your smile, your Lake Forest Dentist, Dr. Fondriest, can perform a thorough oral evaluation and discuss dental treatment options.

Scientific Facts About Smiling

The smile has been a topic of conversation throughout history. People have made assumptions about the smile that include: smiling people are approachable and trustworthy, smiling is contagious, smiling makes a person more attractive, and smiling makes people happy. Scientific research has proven those assumptions true, and has also found that smiling can reduce stress. A smile triggers the brain to release feel-good neurotransmitters such as dopamine, serotonin, and endorphins.

  • Endorphins: The release of endorphins decreases the perception of pain, acts as a sedative, and triggers a natural high, similar to that of morphine but without the fear of addiction.
  • Serotonin: Serotonin is an ingredient in many anti-depressants because it is a mood lifter. Higher levels of serotonin in your system make you feel happy. Research has shown that serotonin is released when you smile, bringing about feelings of happiness.
  • Dopamine: Dopamine is released during pleasurable activities, but if your dopamine levels are low you may feel depressed, unmotivated, and generally uninterested in life. When you smile, dopamine is released, increasing your feelings of pleasure and happiness.

Stress increases the hormone cortisol which can negatively affect your mental and physical health.

  • Cortisol: Cortisol is referred to as “the stress hormone” and for good reason. Science has shown that elevated levels of cortisol can increase risk of mental illness and depression, as well negatively impact weight, blood pressure, cholesterol levels, memory, immune function, and the circulatory system.

Research studies on smiling show that it can generate positive feelings within, and decrease stress-inducing hormones. Therefore your dental health is, once again, proven to be important to your overall health.

What Is A Beautiful Smile?

It’s common knowledge that straight, white teeth make a beautiful smile. As you age your teeth wear and the soft tissue around your mouth begins to “move north” displaying more of your lower teeth. Also, as your teeth wear they become shorter altering the tooth-to-gum ratio. This can result in a gummy smile. As you age your teeth become discolored due to food, beverage, tobacco, or medications that stain teeth. Treatment options to improve a gummy smile and/or stained dentition include gum lift and tooth whitening.

  • Whitening/Bleaching: Dr. Fondriest offers two types of tooth whitening procedures that can be done at home. Both consist of the active ingredient carbamide peroxide which has been recognized by the FDA as an oral antiseptic. Safe for teeth and surrounding oral tissue, it’s helpful for removing stains due to aging, food, beverages, and tobacco. There is a bleach available for day use, and one that whitens teeth while sleeping.
  • Gum Lift: A gum lift can improve your overall appearance by gently removing excessive gum tissue along the gum line. This procedure restores the correct tooth-to-gum ratio and results in a younger, healthier looking smile.

About Your Lake Forest Dentist:

If you would like to improve your smile, discuss the many treatment options with your Lake Forest dentist, Dr. Fondriest. Aside from providing dependable family, general, and restorative dentistry services to our community, Dr. James Fondriest also holds respected academic appointments at the Pankey Institute in Key Biscayne, FL, and the Spear Institute in Scottsdale, AZ, and he is an adjunct Assistant Professor in the Department of Prosthodontics at the University of Florida Dental School. At Lake Forest Dental Arts, Dr. Fondriest combines his impressive array of experience with modern technology and caring, compassionate, knowledgeable staff, and we proudly serve the Chicago metropolitan area including the North Shore and Northwest suburbs. To schedule a consultation, call our office today at (847) 234-0517.

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