Say Cheese! Research Shows Smiling Promotes Longevity and Happiness.

We have spent most of our early years smiling, but are you still smiling? In a recent TED Talk, Ron Gutman, CEO and founder of HealthTap, discussed the results of various studies on smiling. Thanks to 3D ultrasounds, it has been shown that developing babies actually smile in the womb. Once born, little ones are apt to start smiling in their sleep. It might be time to reconnect with your inner-child because kids smile about 400 times per day, while the average adult logs a mere 20 smiles per day.

In the talk, Gutman discusses a German study that uses fMRI imaging to measure the activity of the brain before and after Botox was used to suppress smiling muscles. The results? The facial feedback related to smiling changed the neural processing of emotions and helped individuals feel better about themselves.

British researchers discovered smiling activates the brain reward system and one genuine smile results in the same amount of stimulation as eating up to 2,000 bars of chocolate or receiving nearly $25,000 in cash. It’s a free pick-me-up without the calories! If that’s not reason enough to show off those pearly whites, read on.

Gutman brought up another research project that looked at baseball cards of major league players prior to 1950. It was found that the span of a player’s smile was directly correlated with the span of his life. Players who didn’t smile lived an average of 72.9 years, while those with the broadest smiles lived an average of 79.9 years.

The simple act of giving your facial muscles a little workout lowers levels of harmful stress hormones, such as adrenaline and cortisol. Hormones related to mood enhancement such as endorphins, on the other hand, skyrocket. Blood pressure is reduced, a sense of well-being develops, and you just feel plain happy. Those who smile frequently tend to be healthier and live longer than those who don’t.

Finally, a study at Penn State University found that your smile influences the way others view you. Those who smile are seen as more courteous, likeable and competent. Smiles are contagious, so not only do you get an edge, but those around you benefit as well.

If you’re not happy with your smile, it’s time to set up an appointment with your North Vancouver dentist Dr. Andrew Ho at Third Street Dental. From general dentistry to cosmetic dentistry, our caring and attentive staff offers high quality dental care. Take full advantage of the power of a grin, regain your confidence, and let Third Street Dental give you something to smile about.

Please enjoy the Ron Gutman Ted Talk Below: