To the benefit of cosmetic dentists everywhere, Americans are self conscious about their smiles. But study after study reveals that this isn’t just vanity. Humans are social animals and our brains are hardwired to read body language and facial expressions. A simple smile can actually change the chemistry of your own brain, not to mention change the way other people see you.
It’s no wonder that cosmetic dentists report that procedures like Invisalign, dental implants, and teeth straightening are on the rise among Americans of all ages.
So if you’re looking for strange smile facts that will make you want to, well, smile, then we’ve got you covered.
Smile for the Dopamine
In 1989, a psychologist named Robert Zajonc became one of the foremost experts on the science of smiling with a landmark study. He had one group of participants make sounds that activated the same facial muscles involved in smiling. After a number of trials, all the evidence suggested the same thing: the physical act of smiling actually helps lift your mood.
Smiling for Success
In a survey from the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, an incredible 99.7% of respondents said that a healthy smile is a social asset. Not only that, but 74% of adults said that an unattractive smile would have a negative impact on their career!
First impressions matter, especially in tense situations like job interviews. If you want to get ahead, start practicing that smile in the mirror.
First Comes Love, Then Comes…
A smile can help much more than your career. Just think of all the great (and terrible) romantic comedies that start with a boy and girl smiling at each other from across a room. If you want to create your own meet-cute with the man or woman of your dreams, then a smile is one of the most powerful weapons in your arsenal.
Even better, another survey from the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry found more than 50% of respondents saying that a person’s smile is the one physical feature that stays the most attractive as he or she ages.
Smiling Reduces Stress Levels
In another important smile study, researchers found that even forcing a smile can help reduce stress levels. The study, “Grin and Bear It: The Influence of Manipulated Positive Facial Expression on the Stress Response,” was published in the Psychological Science journal. When participants forced a smile under stress, they actually experienced a decrease in tension levels and reported an elevated mood.