“Smile! You will feel better!”
How often has this advice been offered to those with low self-esteem, or when feeling down? While telling someone to smile to feel better is indeed decent advice, smiling is not always that simple for some people.
When asking people during a consultation what their main concerns are with their smile, the answer is often very surprising. Some of the chief complaints I hear sound like this: “I don’t like my smile.” “I hate how my teeth look.” “My son never smiles in pictures, he is self-conscious of his crooked teeth.” Or, this one. “Others make fun of me, because of my teeth.” These statements get me every time and as an orthodontist, there is much I can do to help.
The fact is that some people may have malocclusions (bad bites) and other problems with their teeth. They have real reasons why they don’t want to smile. There can be a wide range of dental problems, such as large gaps between teeth, crowded and crooked teeth, underbites, overbites, missing teeth, or open bites, which can lead to speech distortions and lisps. These are just a few of the many malocclusions. Also, some are concerned with their gummy smile and others have jaw deformities. There is a wide range of dental and orthodontic issues that can make people feel self-conscious about their smile or be the reason they do not smile at all.
Smiles aren’t just for kids
Not feeling good about oneself can wear on one’s self-esteem no matter what age. This can lead to underperformance at school and work. Some people feel insecure about how they appear at job interviews or auditions or feeling insecure in social settings, and an overall sense of constant self-consciousness. It’s always right there in your face – no pun intended.
There is another reason why not smiling impacts how your feel quite literally. Did you know that smiling releases “feel-good” endorphins that make you feel better about yourself? Smiling triggers the release of neuropeptides that improve your neural communication, as well as serotonin and dopamine, which can instantly boost your mood. You can think of smiling as a natural antidepressant if you will.
There is more that you are missing out on when you don’t smile. How often have you heard that a smile can light up a room? While this is indeed a beautiful sentiment, it holds some truth to it. Smiling can not only have the ability to elevate your mood, but it also impacts the mood of others around you. Human brains automatically notice and interpret the facial expressions of other people – sometimes, even mimic them as a result. This means that you may notice someone else’s smile unconsciously and smile yourself. It is scientifically proven that smiles are contagious.
And what is more, it’s physically much easier to smile than to frown, since a frown requires 113 muscles and a smile requires only 12! There’s no time like the present to discover the power of your own smile.
The road to a confident smile is Clear
Here is the good news. There are many ways to straighten your teeth. At Roland Park Orthodontics we take the time to listen to your smile concerns and needs when it comes to choosing the right appliances for you and your lifestyle.
A very common treatment used to align teeth while avoiding braces is Invisalign ®. Invisalign works by straightening teeth with a sequence of clear trays while avoiding the appearance of braces and wires. Invisalign works by gently moving teeth to their right position with the same efficiency as braces. The advantages of clear aligners are more than just esthetics. Invisalign is convenient for people with busy schedules, professionals who need to engage in speaking, busy students with little time to waste at appointments, athletes who play contact sports, and just about anyone who can’t be bothered with poking wires and sore lips and cheeks from traditional metal or clear braces. There are no emergency appointments with Invisalign, as there are no braces involved, which can be broken by eating the wrong foods.
This leads me to another advantage of Invisalign. There are no restrictions on what you can and can’t eat. You simply remove your aligners to eat (anything) and put them back in when you are done eating. Of course, brushing teeth first after every meal is highly recommended. Also, you are able to maintain good oral hygiene as you can brush and floss without braces obstructing your brushing or flossing.
We can help you achieve your smile goals in many ways. Call for your complimentary smile assessment with Dr. Dina Sanchez at Roland Park Orthodontics. The simple advice of “Smile more” is easier said than done,… we get it and we understand that everyone has different concerns and different needs. This is why we are here to listen to you and help you achieve your smile goals – big and small.
Call 410-296-4400 for your complimentary smile consultation!