Luxesmile Dentistry Nov/Dec 2017

October/November 2017

Wisdom Smiling 1899 Ocean Street, Marshfield, MA 02050 781-412-7030 THE HIDDEN IN

Did you know smiling more could help you live longer? People who smile more often are generally happier in life, in work, in relationships, and so on. Numerous studies have shown there is a remarkable link between showing happiness through smiling and living a longer, more fulfilled life. How do you study smiles and longevity? Well, many researchers have taken to the task. For one, they typically look at the “intensity” of each subject’s smile. It’s important to note there are two types of smiles. There is the “standard” smile and the “genuine” smile. The standard smile is a subtle smile, formed by the muscles around the mouth. A genuine smile — also known as the Duchenne smile — is more intense and is formed by the muscles around the mouth, up into the cheeks, and around the eyes. The Duchenne smile gets its name from the 19th century French neurologist, Guillaume-Benjamin-Amand Duchenne. It was through his research into the smile that we learned what a genuine smile looks like. In the 21st century, Professor Emeritus of Psychology at the University of California, Paul Ekman, noted that the Duchenne smile “generates the physiology of positive emotion and the changes in the brain.” A separate study looked into this line of thinking. Published in Psychological Science, the study effectively correlated positive emotions with longevity, along with better overall mental and physical health.

neurochemicals help reduce inflammation throughout the body. Interestingly enough, research also suggests that the idea of “fake it until you make it” has real merit. That is, faking a smile can legitimately lead to a happier life. In theory,

even when you aren’t feeling your best, smiling anyway can trick your brain into a chemical response, thus improving your mood (and your health). Even more interesting is what Marianne LaFrance, psychology professor at Yale University, has to say about the matter. She’s concluded that smiling and happiness exist on a two-way street. When you’re happy, you smile. When you smile, you can achieve a new level of happiness! If there is one person who knows a thing or two about smiling and living long, it’s my Grammie! I want to send my Grammie happy birthday wishes as she celebrates the big 100! What is her secret for smiling for 100 years? Well, I couldn’t help but ask, hoping for some real pearls of knowledge.

When you smile, your brain releases endorphins and serotonin, which work to improve mood and encourage a general sense of well-being. On top of that, these

In my Grammie’s infinite wisdom, she gave me three easy tips that I’m happy to share with you:

1. Just take life a day at a time. 2. Make time to read every day and keep learning. 3. Allow yourself to take small naps when you can recharge.

It doesn’t get easier than that! I hope, with these three tips in mind, we can all live to 100. Here’s to smiling more and living long, fulfilling lives.

-Dr. Will Burghardt

Family, Cosmetic, & Life-Changing Dentistry in Marshfield

781-412-7030 • 1

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