The famous saying “smile and the world smiles with you” is a favourite with many because it is a saying that makes sense and spreads happiness. Wearing a smile wherever you go will brighten up your day and cheer up everyone around you too. Smiles and laughter are infectious.
And it’s not just a nice saying – there’s medical evidence that suggests a cheery outlook throughout the day will improve your mood, and the way that people around you respond to you. Smiling releases feelings of wellbeing and happiness, even if we are not in the best of moods. The body responds emotionally to our physical stances. Slouching can make us feel suddenly tired, clenched fists can make us feel tense, but more positively smiling can make us feel instantly happy even when we’re having a bad day. Smiling releases chemicals called endorphins that trigger happy feelings in our brains.
The power of a smile
There have been many different studies on the power of a smile, and how smiling can affect our interpersonal relationships. One of the first things we learn when starting a new customer facing job, it that we must smile at the customers when they walk through the door. More recently, tele-marketing companies have started using the mantra “you can hear a smile” when training their staff to deal with customers over the phone.
Some of the greatest public figures have been helped by their smiles. Nelson Mandala is someone that has a smiling face that tells a tale of inner happiness despite the hardships he has suffered in the past, and his smile has only helped to increase his popularity. The Osmonds were a sibling pop band that was made famous by their tombstone teeth and beaming smiles.
Struggling to smile
Aside from a low mood or feelings of depression stopping us from smiling on occasions, some people suffer with self-esteem issues that make them want to cover up their teeth and mouth. An opened mouth smile appears much more genuine and happier than a closed mouth smile, and feels better too. Anyone who has doubts about the way their smile looks may not feel comfortable making an open mouthed smile. This is thanks to years of magazines and television programmes showing us air brushed images of models and celebrities with perfectly straight, perfectly white sparkling teeth. This un-natural look is hard to achieve without the aid of image manipulation or severe cosmetic surgery, but unfortunately some of us still feel our smiles are inadequate if they don’t match the media perfection.
Some of us with crooked teeth, stained or chipped teeth, gaps or fillings feel unable to smile fully in case we offend someone when we do, especially in photographs. When someone consistently prevents themselves from smiling, they are consistently blocking the happy feelings that the body is expecting when we see something we like or something makes us laugh. Stifling smiles on a long term basis can lead to depression and low mood.
Help achieving the perfect smile
There are ways to achieve a beautiful smile without dramatic measures of surgery. Over the last couple of decades orthodontic treatments have advance very far from the days of unsightly metal braces. Simple invisible braces can now be worn over a few months to help straighten teeth, and still maintain their natural shape. Home whitening kits can be purchased from nearly any chemist store, and produce more natural results over a longer period of time instead of the instant bright whitening treatments that celebrities often opt for.
Body image has been a prevalent topic in the news of late, due to worries that young people suffering with self-esteem issues are heavily influenced by the unachievable air brushed images that we see in magazines. Some fashion and beauty editors have run strong campaigns to promote natural beauty, including campaigns showing models and celebrities without any make up, “real” bikini bodies without airbrushing work on the images, and using editorial models with gaps in their teeth or naturally quirky and interesting smiles.
Natural tooth care
Aside from home whitening kits and orthodontics, we can take better care of our teeth everyday but cutting down on foods and drinks that stain or erode our teeth. Fizzy drinks and sweets should be limited, and tea, coffee and red wine should be avoided to prevent staining.