When You Smile The World Smiles Back

Each time you smile you throw a little feel-good party in your brain. The act of smiling activates neural messaging that benefits your health and happiness.
For starters, smiling activates the release of neuropeptides that work toward fighting off stress. Neuropeptides are tiny molecules that allow neurons to communicate. They facilitate messaging to the whole body when we are happy, sad, angry, depressed, excited. The feel good neurotransmitters dopamine, endorphins and serotonin are all released when a smile flashes across your face as well2 (cite reference below). This not only relaxes your body, but also lowers your blood pressure and heart rate.
The endorphins also act as a natural pain reliever, 100% organically and without the potential negative side effects of synthetics.

Finally, the serotonin release brought on by your smile serves as an anti-depressant/mood lifter. Many of today’s pharmaceutical anti-depressants also influence the levels of serotonin in your brain, but with a smile, you don’t have to worry about negative side effects, and you don’t need a prescription from your doctor.

Beautiful smiles


How Smiling Affects Your Body
You are actually better looking when you smile, and we’re not just trying to butter you up. When you smile, people treat you differently. You’re viewed as attractive, reliable, relaxed and sincere. A study published in the journal Neuropsychologia reported that seeing an attractive smiling face activates your orbitofrontal cortex, the region in your brain that process sensory rewards. This suggests that when you view a person smiling, you actually feel rewarded.
It also explains the 2011 findings by researchers at the Face Research Laboratory at the University of Aberdeen, Scotland. Subjects were asked to rate smiling and attractiveness. They found that both men and women were more attracted to images of people who made eye contact and smiled than those who did not. If you don’t believe it, see how many looks you get when you walk outside with a smile on your face.

How Smiling Affects Those Around You
Did you know that your smile is actually contagious? The part of your brain that is responsible for your facial expression when smiling happily or when mimicking another’s smile resides in the cingulate cortex, an unconscious automatic response area. In a Swedish study, subjects were shown pictures of several emotions: joy, anger, fear and surprise. When the picture of someone smiling was presented, the researchers asked the subjects to frown. Instead, they found that the facial expressions went directly to imitation of what subjects saw . It took a conscious effort to turn that smile into a frown. So if you’re smiling at someone, it’s likely they can’t help but smile back. If they don’t, they are likely making a conscious effort not to.

Looking at the bigger picture, each time you smile at a person, their brain coaxes them to return the favor. You are creating a symbiotic relationship that allows both of you to release feel good chemicals in your brain, activate reward centers, and make you both more attractive while increasing the chances of you both living longer, healthier lives.


If you want a healthy confident smile, give us a call at Evelyn G. Ascough, DDS: (619) 298-0821.


Thank you to author Riggio, Ronald E. “There’s Magic In Your Smile.”, Psychology Today, 25 June, 2012. Post.

Get a Movie Star Smile

At Evelyn Ascough, DDS we can perform a variety of procedures from subtle changes to major reconstruction to improve your smile. Discolored, chipped, misshaped or missing teeth can all be corrected. There’s no reason to put up with close spaces, gaps, worn or short teeth. Today all kinds of treatments including bleaching, bonding, crowns, veneers, reshaping and contouring are common and highly effective.


These improvements are not always just cosmetic. Many of these treatments can improve oral problems, such as your bite. Improving your bite will usually make your teeth last longer and improve your digestion from being able to chew food into smaller pieces.

Discoloration occurs in the enamel and can be caused by medication, coffee, tea and cigarettes. Discoloration also can be hereditary or due to simply getting older. Some people get their teeth bleached to make stains disappear, while others just want a whiter shade.

Bleaching can be performed in the office or at home. Home treatments are convenient, but take two to four weeks to achieve the desired effect. In-office whitening can typically be done in a single one-hour visit to the office.

Crowns cover a tooth to restore it to its normal shape and appearance. New advances in cosmetic dentistry crowns require less impact on your existing teeth and have the longest life expectancy of all cosmetic restorations.

Veneers, which are thin pieces of porcelain placed over the front teeth to change the color or shape of your teeth, are used on teeth with uneven surfaces or are chipped, discolored, oddly shaped, unevenly spaced or crooked. No anesthesia is needed. Porcelain veneers require more than one visit because they are fabricated in a laboratory. Veneers have a longer life expectancy and color stability than bonding.

Fast Braces
Braces can correct crooked teeth and misshapen smiles at any age. Fastbraces,® a revolution in teeth straightening technology, helps move the crown and root of the teeth at the same time, from the beginning of the treatment. Patients can now get results often with less sensitivity, in about a year, and in some instances, just 3 months. For information on how Fastbraces® works click here.
Which procedure is right for me?
Dr Ascough can answer any questions you may have about techniques used to improve your smile. The condition of your teeth and desired result you want often dictates the best procedure. Can her office at 619-298-0821 for an appointment.