When you look up the word smile, the dictionary explains it is a pleased facial expression where the corners of the mouth are turned up and you can see the front teeth. However, for some people, the idea of showing anyone their front teeth creates another facial expression—the one where the corners of the mouth are turned down. Feeling comfortable with how your teeth look in your smile is fundamental to both your self-confidence and your self-esteem.
Brian Tracy, motivational speaker and self-development author, says that having a smile on your face improves your self-esteem and helps you build positive relationships with others. Also, it helps you maintain and project a positive attitude, which also brings other people up, too, in both mood and their self-esteem.
But, this sentiment that smiling is good for your self-esteem is more than a pep talk by a seasoned motivational speaker. Science supports that smiling is good for your self-esteem as well.
Psychology Today says that smiling affects your brain. It activates the release of neuropeptides, the tiny molecules that facilitate communication in the neurons. When you smile, they send the message to the rest of the body that you are happy. Also, you release all the happy, feel-good chemicals and hormones, like dopamine, endorphins, and serotonin into your blood stream when you smile.
Smiling also affects your body. A study in Neuopsychologia suggested that when we see a smile, it activates our reward sensors in the orbitofrontal cortex. Also, it makes you more attractive to others. Participants in research from the University of Aberdeen, Scotland rated people more attractive that smiled and made eye contact with the camera in photos than those who didn’t. 
Not only do people find you more attractive, they also think you are younger. Per the findings of researchers in Hungary published in Plos One, a smile makes you appear younger to other people while a neutral expression does not.  It also makes you look thinner, per research also published in Plos One. Researchers from the University of Missouri-Kansas City discovered that people thought people who weren’t smiling in images appeared heavier than those that did.
Smiling is also contagious. In a study in Sweden, Psychology today says participants would imitate the smile shown to them. Not only that, when told to frown, the participants struggled with not smiling and frowning instead.
Vietnamese clergyman, Thich Nhat Hanh says, “Because of your smile, you make life more beautiful.” Smiling also makes you think better of yourself and chemically induces your body to feel happier. It also causes you to look more attractive, younger and thinner to others. Smiling lifts other people up, too. Smiling is a powerful factor for increasing happiness and positivity.
Wouldn’t it be a shame to miss out on all these health benefits, improved relationships, and higher self-confidence just because you don’t like your smile?
To schedule your free consultation today, call Bloom Orthodontics office in Long Beach at 562-421-8883.
Bloom Orthodontics in Long Beach has a long history of improving our patients’ smiles. We provide modern orthodontic treatments delivered with old fashioned excellence in patient experience. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram.
Tracy, Brian. “How a Smile Can Affect Self-Esteem: Building Healthy Relationships With A Positive Attitude.” www.briantracy.com. Web. 19 April 2019. <https://www.briantracy.com/blog/general/how-a-smile-can-affect-self-esteem-building-healthy-relationships-with-a-positive-attitude/>.
Stevenson, Sarah. “There’s Magic in Your Smile.” Psychologytoday.com. 25 June 2012. Web. 19 April 2019. < https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/cutting-edge-leadership/201206/there-s-magic-in-your-smile>.
Facial attractiveness: Evolutionary based research Phil Trans R Soc B June 12, 2011 366: 1638-1659
Hass NC, Weston TD, Lim S-L (2016) Be Happy Not Sad for Your Youth: The Effect of Emotional Expression on Age Perception. PLoS ONE 11(3): e0152093. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0152093 From web: 19 April 2019 < https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0152093>.
 Stevenson, Sarah. “There’s Magic in Your Smile.” Psychologytoday.com. 25 June 2012. Web. 19 April 2019. < https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/cutting-edge-leadership/201206/there-s-magic-in-your-smile>.
 Facial attractiveness: Evolutionary based research Phil Trans R Soc B June 12, 2011 366: 1638-1659
 Hass NC, Weston TD, Lim S-L (2016) Be Happy Not Sad for Your Youth: The Effect of Emotional Expression on Age Perception. PLoS ONE 11(3): e0152093. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0152093 From web: 19 April 2019 < https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0152093>.
 Adler, Eric. “Want to Look Thinner and Younger? UMKC Research Suggests That You Smile” The Kansas City Star. May 10, 2016. Web. 9 April 2019. < http://www.kansascity.com/news/local/article76749227.html#0>.