The Science of Smiling

A smile is universal; it can surpass language barriers to portray a variety of expressions, like joy, acceptance, and agreement, and it can influence the way others perceive you in general. If you’re smiling right now, you might recognize the good feeling it induces, and don’t need scientific research to tell you that it can improve your mood significantly. Nevertheless, experts have spent a considerable amount of time studying the intricacies smiling, and as it turns out, that euphoric feeling is a real (and pleasant) response by your brain to your positive expressions.

What Happens When You Smile?

The semi-euphoric feeling that washes over you when someone genuinely makes you laugh or smile isn’t an illusion; when you smile, your brain releases feel-good chemicals (endorphins) as a response. The facial muscles that contract when you smile are attached to small, thin facial bones, many of which are connected to your sinuses. When you smile, the muscles lift these bones and improve the flow of blood and oxygen to the frontal lobe of your brain, as well as promote the production and release of endorphins, like dopamine.

Spreading the Joy

The good thing about smiling is that, in most cases, it doesn’t take much to garner a smile from someone. In fact, genuine smiles stretch your facial muscles even when you try to hide it, and simply seeing another person smiling happily can generate a similar response in ourselves. One study conducted by Swedish reseachers called for participants to look at pictures of models portraying expressionless, happy, and angry faces, while attempting to make facial expressions of their own. The scientists found that participants had trouble forcing their facial muscles into frowns when looking at a smiling face, suggesting that a smile truly is contagious.

How to Smile More Often

Although most people are aware of the good mood a smile can generate, many often choose not to smile often, preferring instead to hide their smiles’ cosmetic blemishes. Stained or chipped teeth, or teeth that appear uneven or crooked, can affect your overall confidence, as well as deprive you of the many benefits of smiling. To feel the joy of a confident, attractive smile again, speak with Dr. Wright and Dr. Heron about our wide variety of customized cosmetic dentistry procedures.

About Your Southlake Cosmetic Dentists:

As a native Texan, Dr. Gregory Wright opened his private practice in Southlake, TX in 1992. He and Dr. Victoria Heron are happily accepting new patients from Southlake, Grapevine, Keller, Trophy Club, Colleyville, and all surrounding communities. To learn more, call our office today at (817) 481-7999.