A new term has been coined that highlights the ever-increasing interest of adults in straightening their teeth – ‘the Zoom Boom’. The uptick in demand for orthodontic help – 84 per cent of British Orthodontic Society (BOS) members have reported an increase in interest from adult patients – is attributed to a number of factors. It is thought that the recent use of close-up video conferencing has made society more aware of dental appearance and the desire to consult with an orthodontist Liverpool to correct issues such as crooked teeth or closing gaps between teeth for a more attractive smile.
Everyone loves an authentic smile which is probably why a warm smile is one of the most rewarding and positive social cues we use in our interactions with others. Social contact is as essential to human survival as is food and water. Throughout all stages in a human lifespan, social contact is influential in a wide range of physical as well as mental health needs, such as lowering stress levels and promoting stronger immune systems.
How smiles are used to connect with others
The face plays a key role in offering social information. The act of smiling is a well-known signal for conveying happiness, but this is not the only bit of useful information offered. We also look to the smile to tell the world that we feel ‘safe’.
Having an attractive smile increases the likelihood of the wearer encouraging more positive interactions with others. A smile is often the first indicator of friendliness and acceptance without the need for a word to be spoken. It is not uncommon for individuals who smile readily and often to enjoy quality social relationships.
Considering the huge influence a smile plays in inspiring positive perceptions, a confident smile is useful in the workplace. Others perceive a smiling individual as trustworthy, friendly, kind, intelligent, compassionate, and of having leadership quality. Studies have confirmed that having a beautiful smile will make it more likely that an individual will be a higher income earner and more successful in the workplace.
Genuine smiles relate to longevity
Of all the remarkable benefits of smiling, perhaps one of the most important is how smiling can promote happiness and longevity.
In one study that looked at the longevity of professional sportsmen, researchers drew a link between smiling sportsmen and non-smilers. Professional athletes who offered genuine smiles in photographs lived longer than those who didn’t.
Smiling keeps away the negative emotions that also impact wellbeing and longevity. The human brain can be tricked into feeling positive and happy. The key to unlocking this trick is smiling. When facial muscles turn up in the act of smiling, the brain receives the message – produce more happy-feeling chemicals. Feeling happy and positive leaves no space for negative emotions to dwell in.
Of course, to love one’s smile, you need to love the look of your teeth. Fortunately, dental practitioners have a variety of treatments and procedures at their disposal to offer patients the opportunity to smile their hoped for smiles and promote living longer, happier and more rewarding lives.