“Smile your troubles away” goes the saying and the song, but surprisingly enough, so does the science. That saying has been circled around in movies, TV shows, and songs for as long as we can remember. However, new evidence suggests that there may be an actual scientific basis to it. A number of studies tackled the importance and positive effects of smiling and found without a shadow of a doubt that a beautiful smile and a healthy laugh can have a positive effect on mood, aging, as well as your immune system. But how is that possible? To find out how smiling can help your immune system – as well as other systems of the body – read on.
What Happens In Your Brain When You Smile?
Smiling has an incredible effect on brain chemistry. Normally, the brain sits in the skull, surrounded by a lot of chemicals and hormones. These help regulate brain function as well as your mood and overall health. When you smile or laugh, the brain releases chemicals known as Endorphins, Serotonin, and Dopamine, collectively known as the “happy cocktail” of the brain. The reason behind such naming is quite clear: These chemicals make you feel happy, relaxed, and in a great mood.
How Can Smiling Benefit Your Health?
When the brain is happy, the whole body follows it. Being the regulator of every activity the body does, the brain is the main control unit for emotions, happiness, relaxation, as well as physical health. Here are some effects of a happy brain on the body:
Yes, the mood is mainly related to the brain, but a great mood translates everywhere else as well. When your mood is great, you walk more energetically, and your heart pumps more steadily and strongly. All that makes a lot more oxygen reach the body tissues, keeping them healthy and strong.
The release of Dopamine, Serotonin, and Endorphins is also accompanied by a reduction in the release of Cortisol. Cortisol is the main stress hormone of the body, produced in abundance in fight or flight situations. The exact opposite happens when you smile. The “happy chemicals” are released, and the “stress chemicals” are reduced.
Boosting the immune system:
One of the most astonishing effects of smiling. More on how smiling can help your immune system in a little bit.
The happy chemicals released by the brain can literally “trick” the body into forgetting its pain. We don’t just mean emotional pain and heartbreak, but physical pain as well. It is the brain that perceives the signals from the extremities and interprets them as being painful. So when the brain is floating in the happy chemicals, it doesn’t see pain anymore.
For all of us obsessed with looking forever young – and who isn’t – do we have a treat for you. Smiling is now associated with looking forever young. Contrary to popular belief that too much smiling can cause wrinkles and smile lines, the physical act of smiling keeps the facial muscles taut and strong and keeps the skin over these muscles shiny and healthy.
How Smiling Can Help Your Immune System
All of the previous effects can show on your face and body, but one of the hidden – and most astounding – effects of smiling is how smiling can help your immune system. The mechanism is not yet exactly understood, but a lot of research has gone into the matter. When you smile, your heart pumps blood faster and stronger to all regions of the body, carrying with it Oxygen and nutrients which can kill bacteria and germs. The blood is also responsible for washing away all the harmful toxins released by the bacteria.
Not only that but there is a more direct effect of smiling on the immune system. The blood has many cells such as the Red blood cells, the platelets, and the White blood cells. All these cells are produced by the bone marrow – that is the insides of the bones -. With smiling comes an amazing uplift in the bone marrow factory, and an increased release of all the cells that it produces, including the White blood cells which are considered the main defense mechanism of the body against all foreign harmful organisms.
How We Can Help You Achieve A Great Smile
Knowing all these awesome effects of smiling, including how smiling can help your immune system, it is amazing that people don’t smile more often. It is understandable given the constant stresses of life and maybe having no reason to smile at the moment, but shockingly enough, you don’t even have to mean it for these effects to work. The body reacts the same with both real and fake smiles. Try it yourself; try smiling even if you have no reason to. It really works.
On the other hand, some people don’t like to smile because they don’t like how their teeth look, and that is where we can help you. Modern dentistry is all about smile makeovers, and there are a lot of ways to achieve a beautiful smile. These include all the cosmetic dentistry procedures such as whitening, veneers, gum reshaping and so much more. However, the latest trend in smile makeovers is directed more at braces.
More On Braces
Braces can fix any problem related to your teeth arrangement. If you have crooked teeth, crowded teeth, gapped teeth, overbite, underbite, jaw size mismatch, or any other problem, braces can be the solution for you. In the past decade, the industry of braces has evolved greatly to include a lot more esthetic options suitable for both children and adults – yes adults can wear braces now without embarrassment -. The traditional metal braces are still used and quite popular, but adults usually prefer one of the more “subtle” options such as clear braces, lingual braces, or Invisalign.
If you are considering braces, you’ve come to the right place. Dr. Jerek Petrous, Dr. John Marx, and the team at Petrous Orthodontics are experts in Invisalign, and ready to answer your questions anytime. If you have any questions pertaining to Invisalign, Invisalign Teen, braces, and clear braces in Warren or Madison Heights MI, or would like to schedule a complimentary consultation with Dr. Jerek Petrous or Dr. John Marx contact Petrous Orthodontics at (248) 588-2020