Is Your Smile Contagious?

Dentist Serving Buffalo, Lancaster, Orchard Park, New York

According to a recent survey, 75% of people are unhappy with at least one aspect of their smile. If you are among them, you don’t have to live with that dissatisfaction. In fact, at the Depew office of Forestream Dental, we offer a comprehensive range of services that can be used – individually or in specific combinations – to perfect and strengthen your smile.

If you are not happy with your smile, please give Dr. Larry Evola a call at 716-656-8686 to schedule a consultation and learn how we can help.

The Science of Smiling

Smiling makes you happier. This is not some affirmation to be repeated in hopes of changing your way of thinking. It’s well-documented science. Several studies have found that smiling, even when it is somewhat forced, has a near immediate impact on mood.

During a study conducted by psychological scientists Tara Kraft and Sarah Pressman, participants were instructed to produce and hold a half smile, a full smile, or a neutral expression while performing a series of aggravating tasks. The results? Those who were smiling experienced lower heart rate, greater contentment, and lower stress levels than those with a half-smile or neutral expression.

The findings from this study have been confirmed over and over, including in studies that focused on the clinically depressed. In one such study, patients with severe depression were given BOTOX® injections that rendered frowning more difficult. At the end of the study, 52% of participants who had received an injection, and were thereby prevented from frowning, showed a significant reduction in symptoms. This compared to only 15% of those in the placebo group who were still able to frown easily.

Mirror Neurons

Aside from benefits for the self, smiling has a profound impact on those around you. According to research conducted by Marco Iacoboni, a neuroscientist at the University of California at Los Angeles, mirror neurons located in the front of the parietal cortex light up in the same ways when we smile and when we see someone else smiling. This likely has much to do with our being social animals.

Facial expressions, like posture and gestures, are ways of communicating with others – and that communication may be much more significant than we have typically thought. According to Iacoboni, mirror neurons break down the wall between self and other, prompting us to respond – unconsciously but pleasantly – to what we perceive as happiness in those around us. Smiling, being the clearest indication of happiness, may turn out to be the easiest way to light those neurons up – both for yourself and for others.

People who smile frequently are typically better liked, more respected, more trusted, and considered friendlier than those who consistently wear a neutral expression. They are also more likely to engage in activities that further increase happiness such as practicing altruism and maintaining strong social networks. These are things that both rely on and increase happiness. It’s like a continual feedback loop. The more you smile, the more likely you are to get the most out of your life.

Hiding Your Smile

If you’ve been hiding your smile out of embarrassment, Dr. Evola is here to help. With targeted cosmetic dentistry services, Dr. Evola can produce a strong, straight, bright, and healthy-looking smile that you will be proud to show the world.

Showing off your smile increases happiness. Happiness increases happiness. You deserve to experience as much joy as the world can offer. We are here to help start you on that path.

To learn more about the cosmetic dentistry services we offer in the Buffalo, New York area, please call Forestream Dental at 716-656-8686 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Evola. Located in Depew, we serve Lancaster, Orchard Park, and all surrounding areas of New York.