The Power of a Healthy Smile
What is the very first thing you notice about meeting a new person? It’s not the outfit they’re wearing or color of their hair. Surprisingly, a smile is one of the most important characteristics for helping your brain distinguish faces from one another.
Behavioral psychologists are continuing to find evidence that the human smile is more than a simple facial expression. It actually influences our health, social interactions, and even emotional responses. The bridge between dentistry and behavioral psychology is therefore becoming narrower everyday. As it turns out, they both influence one another drastically.
Let’s break down some of the numbers:
- About 25% of people say that a smile is the most prominent feature they remember when meeting a new person.
- 63% of respondents claim that people look best in photos when they show their teeth. (Only 23% say that people look better with a closed smile).
- 74% say that an unattractive smile may reduce your chances of getting a job.
- An old adage says that people who smile often can boost their life expectancy by 7 years. This is said to be due in part by heightened endorphin production and increased immune responses every time you smile.
- The average child smiles 200-300 times a day. On the other hand, the average adult smiles only 20 times a day.
- As much as 1/3 of children have dental anxiety. In other words, they show extreme anxiety before routine dentist visits.
Clearly, a smile becomes a defining characteristic of who you are. The last statistic listed above speaks volumes – more and more children are scared to visit the dentist. What’s worse is that kids aged 6-11 have some of the highest levels of untreated cavities. When you pair dental anxiety with irregular brushing habits, then we are left with a troubling outcome: children simply don’t feel comfortable with their own smile.
Children with unhealthy teeth can become increasingly nervous and anxious about showing off their smile. Especially in elementary and middle school, unwelcome bullies might bring attention to other children’s less than perfect teeth, making the victim even more self-conscious about their smile.
As a pediatric dentist, we believe that children should never feel embarrassed to show off their teeth. In fact, a healthy smile should be a huge confidence-booster for all children and adolescents. Regular dental hygiene and dentist visits can go a long way in making your child feel confident and happy with their own teeth.
When it comes down to it, the power of a child’s smile is what makes pediatric dentistry so rewarding. Building confidence for a lifetime is what healthy teeth are all about and kids should know from a young age that their smile is one of the brightest aspects. Talk with your child today about keeping their teeth and gums healthy, then schedule an appointment with a local children’s dentist like All Stars Pediatric Dentistry today.