A smile is more than just a friendly gesture. By turning up the corners of your lips, wrinkling the space around your eyes, and showing off your pearly whites has a direct (scientifically provable) impact on your self-confidence.

Unfortunately, too many people feel like their discolored, crooked, or misaligned teeth aren’t very attractive, which means they avoid smiling whenever they can.

A bright smile is a warm, welcoming gesture. It shows people that you’re open and friendly and ready to talk. A frown, on the other hand, shows people the exact opposite. So instead of wanting to talk, they may decide to shy away. And when that happens, it only serves to reinforce a lower self-confidence.

So let’s get into the psychology of a simple smile and discover why it’s important to find a reason to smile.

The Benefits of a Smile

Tests have shown that there are both psychological and physiological benefits to smile. As you start to experience them, you’ll begin to sense a growing self-confidence.

Improve your mood – People can sense when you’re in a good or bad mood, and the muscles involved in smiling tell your brain that it’s time to release some endorphins and start feeling good.

Share your mood – A smile is very literally contagious. When others see you grinning at them, they’re moved to return the gesture. There’s nothing like seeing someone smiling at you to boost your self-confidence.

Look younger – Many studies have shown that people judge smiling faces to be younger than they actually are. Who doesn’t feel better when someone thinks you’re looking rather youthful?

Be a better flirt – An article in Time Magazine studied various flirting techniques and what they found was that it wasn’t the most physically appealing people who get approached, but “the ones who signal their availability and confidence through basic flirting techniques like eye contact and smiling.”

Build better relationships – Sometimes a smile is the perfect way to diffuse a situation and reduce conflict. Make others feel at ease and they’ll be more likely to share their feelings and concerns with you.

Fake It Till You Make It

Don’t feel like smiling? Too worried about the condition of your teeth to share a grin with someone nearby? It’s worth it to smile anyway.

The thing is, the brain doesn’t really know if you have a real reason to smile or not. (Well, okay, obviously it does, but stick with us on this.) What it does know that if those very specific muscles in your face move in a very specific way, it’s time to release those endorphins and make you feel good.

And the better you feel, the more likely you are to come across as a self-confident person. The more people see that in you, the more you’ll really feel it.

A Shareable Smile

If, after all your practicing, you’re not sure you’re ready to share your smile with others, you do have some options. It only takes some simple cosmetic treatments to really change your whole smile. Teeth whitening is a great place to start, but we can do a lot more.

If you’re not confident with your smile now, then it’s time to get proactive. Talk to us about your options and we’ll help you get the kind of smile that will lead to the new levels of self-confidence.