The smile is a special thing. It isn’t bound by age, status or even language. It’s something that we’re born able to achieve, and that is understood by everyone. Maybe that’s why it’s more contagious than the flu and the most reciprocated facial expression humans make. A true gift from nature, smiling helps the human body release cortisol and endorphins. The release of these hormones has numerous benefits, such as reducing blood pressure, increasing endurance, reducing pain levels and strengthening the immune system. Even simulating a smile—consciously deciding to do so despite circumstance— can boost a person’s mood.
Smiles are also helpful in the workplace. People who smile more often are perceived as more approachable. This is true at job interviews, meetings or social functions. Smiles are associated with attractiveness, confidence and friendliness. If you’re good at cheesin,’ you’re actually more likely to get hired or promoted than those less willing to turn the frown upside down.
Besides keeping up with general health and hygiene practices, the points mentioned above are all great reasons to pay close attention to oral health and to enthusiastically show off the pearly whites. However, some people are unhappy with their smiles. Dental or orthodontic issues can take a toll on self-esteem and prevent people from using one of the most powerful tools they have. By remaining stoic, or even frowning, a person can send off signals they didn’t intend to send. Those signals might say that they are disinterested, bored, unapproachable or upset, when they are actually eager, engaged, friendly and happy.
According to a recent study conducted by Delta Dental Institute, 85% of Americans believe that oral health is “extremely important” to their overall health status, yet only 25% are completely satisfied with the conditions of their teeth and gums. Only about half of those surveyed even see a dentist regularly, though they deemed it crucial to their well-being. The reasons for not seeing a dentist could be based on a host of underlying reasons: fear, finances, time, forgetfulness. However, the data tells us to make time in the chair a priority.
This publication serves as a fantastic guide to some of the best oral care professionals in the Lowcountry. There is a fit for everyone. There is an answer to any and all oral health concerns you may have. Dentists, orthodontists, periodontists and oral surgeons are conveniently dotted throughout the greater Charleston area, offering different services, approaches to care and financial options for any prospective patient. There’s no reason to risk your health, happiness or success by hiding your smile. It was playwright, Edward Bulwer-Lytton who first said, “the pen is mightier than the sword.” The smile, however, might be even mightier than the pen. Words can be misunderstood or foreign, but never the simple upward curve that everyone can read.
By Lorna Hollifield