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The Power of a Smile

No matter what language barriers stand between us, a smile is a universal symbol of happiness and trustworthiness in terms of non-verbal communication.

You could almost say that receiving a genuine, heartfelt smile from someone is better than receiving money, according to a study performed in 2005. Psychologist Dr. David Lewis, who analyzed these findings, reported: “The powerful emotions triggered when someone important in our lives smiles at us and we smile back changes our brain chemistry. It creates what is termed a ‘halo’ effect that helps us remember other happy events more vividly, feel more optimistic, more positive, and more motivated.”

Additionally, the act of smiling has the power to reduce stress by releasing endorphins and a stress-managing hormone called Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor. It also attributes to confidence, friendliness, and sincerity. In fact, employers are more likely to hire those who present full, honest smiles during the interview process than those who force smiles.

But how do you know if a smile is honest or not? Most of us can pick up on this distinction when we’re interacting with others. When people force a smile, it typically does not reach their eyes and there tends to be a lot of tension in the muscles around the mouth. When we smile genuinely, it’s referred to as a Duchenne smile. This is when the corners of our mouth lift, pushing our cheeks upwards and causing crow’s feet to form at the corners of our eyes.

This is all pretty fascinating, right? Something so simple like a smile can create a lot of positive impact on our everyday lives. However, for some, smiling is easier said than done. Those who suffer from dental complications, like missing teeth, tooth decay, or other issues, are more guarded when it comes to their natural smiles. Because of this, they are at risk of being perceived as mean, unapproachable, and incompetent when that simply isn’t the case. Dr. Huff says: “In light of the power of a natural, confident smile, maybe our next conversation about what we can do for our patients should focus on why we’d like to help them with their smile rather than what we can do for them”

Dr. Huff’s dedication lies in his compassion to provide his patients with top-quality care and service. If you’d like to schedule an appointment, you can reach Dr. Huff and his team by phone at 330-364-2011 or you can schedule an appointment online.

If you are interested in Dr. Huff’s article that he published for dentists on this topic, you can find it here.

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