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  • Writer's pictureDr Ben White, DDS

Smile...It is good for your health!

Seriously, smiling uses muscles in your face that are attached to the pleasure centers in the brain and produce endorphins. Which are the "feel good" chemicals in our brains, and we all could use a little more of that right now. So doctors orders, SMILE!!!

Adults have more stress and tend to smile less, this can have negative impacts on our health. Sit back and watch children as they play, you will see smiles and hear laughter as these little humans live with a carefree mentality. Children might have something right...Research has discovered that smiling, a simple facial expression can have a positive effect on your health, add laughter to the mix and your brain is flooded with those happy chemicals and actually reduces the stress chemical called cortisol. The benefits don't end there, others can be affected by your smile too.

Smiling at another person will cause endorphins to be released in their brain.

Wait WHAT!!?? you can cause someone else to release "feel good" chemicals in their brain without even a touch ... well that is a good thing considering the social distancing orders at this time. Ok I'm gonna nerd out for a minute so bear with me ... A group of researchers took live fMRI readings of people as they witnessed different types of smiles. What does this mean:

fMRI = functional magnetic resonance imaging which detects the consumption of Oxygen in the brain and gives a 3D depiction of where that activity was. Surprisingly, when someone witnesses a "true smile" the pleasure centers in the brain would light up. In contrast when someone witnessed a "fake smile" those areas remained dormant. WHAAAAAT!!!! This means I can change the chemicals in another persons brain just by smiling!! WOW the human body is truly magnificent!

Benefits of Smiling and Laughing

  1. Endorphins are released in your brain when you smile making you happier

  2. Endorphins reduce stress chemicals in your brain

  3. Laughing increases lung capacity and provides more oxygen to the body

  4. Smiling is an attractive expression and attracts others to you

  5. Smiling boosts confidence and self worth

How to Smile and Laugh more often

  1. Smile even when you don't feel like it, but not in the mirror...your brain can not determine a fake smile unless your eyes see it.

  2. Tune into the comedy channel, watch funny movies or read a funny book.

  3. Spend time with family and friends that make you feel happy (via facetime or video chat while self isolating right now) so you can see others smile and they can see you.

  4. Find things to smile and laugh about...remember our brains are trained to find what it is looking for...focus on the positive and you will find it.

so...doctors orders...SMILE MORE!!!

If for any reason you are ashamed of your smile we can help...this is one of reasons I decided to become a dentist...

Keep Smiling

Dr Ben White DDS

1108N. 12th Ave. Suite C

Pensacola, FL 32561


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