We know that when you’re unhappy with the appearance of your smile, you can try to avoid showing it. In particular, if you’re unhappy with the appearance of your teeth, you’re likely to try covering your teeth or giving a close-lipped smile.
Unfortunately, new research has shown that this could lead to problems. That’s because giving a close-mouthed smile could be misinterpreted as being an entirely different kind of smile–one that doesn’t make people feel good, it causes them stress. This is more evidence of why your smile matters, and how much of a difference it can make to have a beautiful smile.
Three Types of Smiles
We all know that there are many different types of smiles. Some people argue that there are 19 types of smiles (including 6 different happy ones). But for this research, the focus was on three different types: “reward,” “affiliative,” and “dominance” smiles.
Reward smiles are what we typically think of as happy smiles. These are smiles that are broad grins with big, toothy displays. Affiliative smiles, on the other hand, are smiles that are enthusiastic, show a relationship, and are intended to show that you’re not a threat. Dominance smiles, on the other hand, are threatening. They are smiles showing that you’re judging someone and that they should be subservient.
To see how these smiles affected people, they took 90 young men and gave them an impromptu speaking assignment. As they were delivering their speeches, they would see videos supposedly of their audience’s reaction. In reality, these were pre-recorded snippets of people making one of the three types of smiles. As people gave their speech, researchers monitored their hearts and periodically sampled their saliva to identify stress hormones.
They found that when people were shown dominance smiles, their stress levels went up. But when people were shown reward smiles, their stress levels went down. Not making the right type of smile to someone can dramatically impact how they feel in general and how they feel about you in particular.
Let People Know How You Really Feel
This study shows the dangers in giving people the wrong type of smile. So what’s the difference between a reward smile and a dominance smile? Reward smiles show their teeth, but dominance smiles do not. And when you’re feeling discomfort at the appearance of your smile, that discomfort can also help the smile come off as a dominance smile.
To be sure that your smiles are giving people the right message, you should have a smile that you feel comfortable with and are confident enough to share. Your smile can then become an essential part of your personal brand.
This won’t just help you communicate your true feelings, it can help you feel better, too. When you smile, your body receives endorphins that help you feel happy.
But when you hide your smile, it can make you feel less happy. And, as this research shows, it can make others feel unhappy, too.
Cosmetic dentistry can help. It can give you the smile that you’ll share without hesitation. It can help you express yourself fully and easily, not just at work, but in your personal relationships, too.
To learn how cosmetic dentistry can help you get a smile you love in River Edge, NJ, please call (201) 343-4044 today for an appointment with a cosmetic dentist at the River Edge Dental Center for General & Cosmetic Dentistry.
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