Whether you know it or not, your smile is a major influence upon your emotional state and your life. Smiling releases “feel good” chemicals into the brain including endorphins and the anti-depressant serotonin. What, then, will happen if you are embarrassed by your teeth? Chances are that you will be reluctant to smile, and consequently, you may begin to feel unhappy.
Thankfully, you can change your feelings about your smile with cosmetic dentistry. Your Austin TX cosmetic dentist, Dr. Steven Van Wicklen, offers several popular cosmetic treatments including teeth whitening, porcelain veneers, and cosmetic bonding. With these treatments, Dr. Van Wicklen can transform your smile from a source of self-doubt to a source of confidence, making your day-to-day life much more enjoyable.
Smiling and Your Life
Did you know that the way you smile can affect your lifespan? Scientists distinguish between two types of smiles called Duchenne and non-Duchenne smiles. These smile types were named after a French neurologist named Duchenne de Boulogne who first studied smiles scientifically. A Duchenne smile is a smile that expresses feelings of happiness. To produce a Duchenne smile, additional muscles that surround the eyes become active in addition to the muscles that move the mouth itself. A non-Duchenne smile is a smile meant to appease someone else. It differs in muscular involvement from a Duchenne smile, as muscle groups around the eyes are not active.
Since Duchenne’s early research, the field has expanded, and recent research has found that smile types can have a major impact on a people’s lives by influencing their lifespans. Those that smile Duchenne smile frequently tend to live longer than those who smile non-Duchenne smiles. The correlation here seems to be that a person’s emotional state can influence their longevity. However, this research has important implications for cosmetic dentistry. As noted above, feeling embarrassment about the appearance of teeth can prevent people from expressing joy through a smile. With cosmetic treatment, however, smiles can be enhanced, improving people’s self-confidence so that they can smile many Duchenne smiles.
About Dr. Steven Van Wicklen: Dr. Steven Van Wicklen has been serving patients in Austin TX since 1985. New patients can schedule an appointment or a consultation with Dr. Van Wicklen by calling our dental office at (512) 448-3131.