How Do Smiles Improve Our Mood and Health?

April 1, 2022


You may have heard the old phrase, “it takes fewer muscles to smile than frown.” Well, it turns out this isn’t actually true. In fact, it takes more than ten muscles to smile but as few as six to frown, so perhaps the phrase should be “you burn more calories when you smile than when you frown.” Even though smiling might not be the easiest thing to do, especially after a stressful day, you’ll find that it has many more benefits than just burning calories.

The Feedback Loop Between Smiling and Happiness

In the 1800s, Charles Darwin was among the first to come up with what modern scientists now refer to as the "facial feedback hypothesis." This is the idea that smiling can make you happier, and changing your facial expression can intensify or even transform your mood. Since smiling is so closely linked to the feeling of happiness in our brains, even a fake smile can release endorphins and make us feel better. Because endorphins also function similarly to painkillers, they can greatly help to reduce pain and relieve stress - without the side effects. So, the next time you’re having a bad day, try smiling a bit and see if it helps!

Smiling Creates a Healthier Immune System

The short-term effects of endorphins are great, but it doesn’t stop there! Over time, when we continuously make a habit of smiling, this causes long-term health benefits like making us more resilient against illnesses and preventing certain types of cancer. This is because, when we manage our stress in healthier ways, this presents fewer stress-induced mutations in our cells.

Smile More, Live Longer

People typically perceive a smiling face as being more attractive than a non-smiling face, and that’s not just about appearances. Over the course of a lifetime, we might accumulate enough health benefits from smiling to actually live longer. One way you can easily smile more is to be proud of how your smile looks with a healthy set of teeth and gums. For that, you’ll need great brushing and flossing habits, along with regularly scheduled dental appointments. If you would like to schedule an appointment with a professional dentist in Colorado Springs, call Esthetic Family Dentistry today!The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

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