What Happens When We Smile?

Smiling doesn’t only enhance our appearance, it has a positive impact on our mental well being too

Smile makeoverFew people walk around with a permanent smile on their face, but it is thought that, on average, we smile around 50 times a day if we are of a happy disposition and around 20 for an average adult. If we compare that with the approximately 400 times a day a young child smiles, perhaps we can learn a few things from the younger people around us?

Mostly, our faces are relaxed until something stimulates us to smile. This can be for any number of reasons. Perhaps someone has said something funny or a thought comes to mind that makes us smile quite out of the blue. Your smile though, doesn’t just affect the way that you look but can also be of benefit to your overall sense of wellbeing. In today’s blog, we will discuss what happens and also how our Blue Sky dentists can help you make the most of your smile.

The chemistry

Few of us will think about the chemistry that happens when we smile. It just seems like a muscular response to a stimulus, but the reaction in our body is actually quite significant.

When we smile, our brains release neuropeptides; small molecules that play a significant part in fighting off stress. This then triggers reactions from other neurotransmitters such as endorphins and serotonin.  Both of these play a role in our sense of wellbeing with serotonin acting as a natural antidepressant and the endorphins working to provide some minor pain relief. Perhaps this is why we sometimes laugh involuntarily when we stub our toe for example (after the initial expletives, most probably). Some therapists suggest that even if we force ourselves to smile, these positive effects can be felt and can be used even during more difficult periods of our lives to help us through it.

When you’re smiling …..

…. the whole world smiles with you; or so the well known song goes. It seems that there is some truth in this and few of us would deny that laughter is infectious and, as we have discussed before, a smile can open up avenues to meeting new people and can even be beneficial to your career. The fact is that most of us are attracted to a smile and it is one of the first things that we notice in others, so it makes sense to do what we can to have a smile that looks good as well as feeling good.

Taking good care of our teeth at home is obviously an essential prerequisite for our Chelmsford patients. Decaying teeth will not only not look unattractive but will impact us when eating and eventually lead to tooth loss if not treated. Presuming that good home teeth cleaning is carried out though, hopefully this shouldn’t be a significant problem.

From time to time, all of us might need to have a small filling but most of us will notice a deterioration in the appearance of our teeth as the years roll by. We can’t prevent this entirely as the part of our teeth directly below the enamel surface will darken as we get older. Add to that, the general wear and tear that can cause cracks and chips to appear and eventually most of us will need some help to restore our smile to what it used to be.

The role of cosmetic dentistry

Once your teeth have started to darken with age, they may start to take on a yellow or stained appearance. When this happens, no amount of brushing will reverse this and may well damage your teeth if you brush excessively in an attempt to whiten them. At this stage, there are only two options available to help you restore the whiteness and that is a teeth whitening procedure or dental veneers.

If discolouration is the only issue, most of our patients will be able to have the whiteness restored using the non invasive tooth whitening treatment that we have available at our Chelmsford dental clinic. This comes in the form of a customised home whitening kit that will provide trays that are made to fit your teeth comfortably and safely. These are produced from impressions that we take of your teeth. You will also be supplied with a whitening gel and full instructions on how to apply this treatment. The results are usually noticeable within a week and the full effect a week after that. We can adjust the whiteness according to your requirements. Some patients like the results to be as white as possible whilst others prefer a more subtle improvement – we can adjust the treatment accordingly.

Where teeth are chipped and cracked or the staining is very heavy, dental veneers may be a better option. Whilst this does require some minor dental surgery, the results are long lasting and the porcelain veneers that are fitted are largely stain resistant and the whiteness should last you for many years to come before needing to be replaced at around ten years or so.

We have seen the mental benefits from smiling more, and there is little doubt that we are more likely to smile if we are happy with the way that our teeth look. If you would like to find out how we can help to improve your smile and help you obtain those benefits, why not give Blue Sky Dental a call on 01245 211070.

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