We all know that the key to a perfect smile is good oral hygiene. This means taking the time to brush, floss and see the dentist on a regular basis. A national survey from the American Dental Association and Crest® and Oral B® found that the smile outranked eyes, hair and the body as the most attractive physical feature. However, I bet you don’t know that the power of your smile goes beyond just physical. In fact, there are several known health benefits to smiling.

Here are 7 reasons we should all smile more this Valentine's Day:

1. It boosts your immune system

When you smile your body is more relaxed. Studies have shown that smiling leads to lower heart rates and steady breathing, which in turn results in a stronger immune system. 

2. Forcing yourself to smile can boost your mood

Having a bad day? Turn it around by smiling. According to psychologists, if you smile it releases serotonin, which tricks the body into making you feel happy again.  

3. Smiles are contagious

Have you ever seen someone smile and not smiled back? It's like a laugh, if you hear someone laugh you can't help but laugh with them. Same goes for a smile.

4. It’s a universal sign of happiness

There is a lot of cultural barriers like languages and mannerisms, but smiling is known around the world to mean the same - happiness and acceptance.

5. It’s easier to smile than frown

Scientists have discovered that your body has to work harder and use more muscles to frown than it does to smile. 

6. Smiling relieves stress

Looking for a mid-day pick-me-up? Why not smile, your body immediately releases endorphins when you smile, even when you force it. This sudden change in mood will help you feel better and release stress.

7. The are 19 different types of smiles

Yes, there are 19 different types of smiles. Researchers were able to categorize them into two categories: polite, “social” smiles and happy smiles. Included in the list is the “embarrassed” smile, “genuine” smile and “loving” smile.

So, even though you many not a have a special Valentine to share the day with doesn't mean you don't have a reason to smile. Remember, smiles are contagious & you never know who you might attract - you could end up with a Valentine after all.

Photo Credit: David Schexnaydre via Compfight cc



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