Why You Should Smile … A Lot

By Dr. Robert Sunstein,

La Jolla & Carmel Valley Orthodontics Specialist

When you’re at the DMV and you’ve been in line for an hour and the baby next to you starts screaming, the best thing you can do is start smiling. Why? Because smiling actually makes you feel better. When we smile, it affects certain muscles that send messages to the brain, which releases endorphins, and voilà: we feel better. And since smiles have been found to be contagious, pretty soon everyone in the DMV will be smiling—including the person you need to talk to about lowering that registration fee. In addition to making you and those around you feel better, the article

“11 Facts about Smiling”

shows that smiling is good for your health, career, communication, and love life.

Smiling is good for your health

: Most of you have heard that it takes fewer muscles to smile than to frown, but not only is smiling easier on your muscles; it’s easier on your immune system. When you smile, it means you feel good, and because emotional health is so closely linked to physical health, smiling a lot can tack on an average of seven years to your life.

Smiling is good for your career

: If talking on the phone is a big part of your job, then you should smile. Smiling has been found to make our voices sound happy and engaged—even when we’re not. Studies also found that employees who smile more get more promotions because smiles exude confidence and sociability.

Smiling helps you communicate emotions

: University of California at Berkeley psychologists

identified six basic types of smiles to express feelings

  1. We have polite smiles, assymetrical smiles (also known as the fake smile), embarrassed smiles, genuine smiles, loving smiles, and synchronized smiles ( a genuine, loving smile accompanied by a forward-leaning body movement to show the smile’s recipient you are on the same wavelength).

Smiling can help with your love life

: Sorry, men, this only goes for women. Studies showed that men found women who smile to be more attractive than those with perfect make-up who were stone-faced. The opposite, however, is favored by women.

A study by the American Psychological Association

found that women prefer a man to look “brooding.”

As the Sunny Smile Specialist, I look forward to helping you achieve that smile you feel confident about flashing all the time. For more information on orthodontic care, call us in Carmel Valley at 858-755-1551, in La Jolla at 858-459-3353, or log onto