If you’re holding back smiles due to feeling self-conscious about your teeth, your emotional and physical health could be…well, better. We all benefit from more smiles. And we know that making self-care a priority makes us feel better. If you need reasons to smile more or invest in your self-care, read on. And veneers are a great long-term investment that boosts smiles as well as your emotional and physical health. Plus, you can invest in smile, self-care, and health right here in El Cajon!
Smiling is Good for Your Health
Scientists can now explain how smiles alter our moods and diffuse tension. Our smile muscles trigger our brains to tell us that happy and pleasant are at hand. The brain says, “Whoa! Time for me to send out some feel-good neurotransmitters.” Suddenly your system gets dopamine, endorphins, and serotonin. Your heart rate and blood pressure lower, and you’re more relaxed. Endorphins narrow in on relieving pain, while serotonin throws a mood-lifting party. A smile is a release mechanism for these chemicals. And they’re good stuff!
Smiles Beget Smiles
Smiles are contagious. Smiles improve our social interactions. Kind of a no brainer, right? But your brain has everything to do with how it all works. Your smile affects how people’s brains process you, and that improves your social interactions.
Research tells us that when you smile, you’re at your most attractive. That smile boosts your social currency; it tells people you’re more reliable, relaxed, and sincere. One reason may be is because when you see a smiling face, your orbitofrontal cortex, the part of the brain that processes sensory rewards, kicks into ‘bonus’ mode. Your brain gets an indicator that a reward has been delivered, and neurotransmitters flood your system with a resulting smile response. Then you feel rewarded by the smile that you initiated. This is a good kind of circular logic!
In fact, smiling therapy (and by extension laughing) has been clinically tied to less depression in postpartum women, and smiling leads to people perceiving witnesses as more credible. Smiling’s big advantages are in improved mood, lower blood pressure, and reduced stress. We can all use these edges. You don’t need veneers to smile, but, if you’re not smiling because you are self-conscious about your teeth, it might be time to think about adding in a bit of smile therapy into your short-term and long-term self-care strategies. And veneers are a great cosmetic dentistry value.
Self-care and Balance
Michael Raphailia, writing for Psychcentral.com defines self-care as “any activity that we do deliberately in order to take care of our mental, emotional, and physical health.” Physical health requires common routines including exercise, healthy eating, sleep, and proper dental care. The human body needs care routines, including dental routines like brushing, flossing, and regularly scheduled cleanings. Mental and emotional self-care routines are likewise important, but because people are vastly different, these differ. One person may require meditation, another the endorphins and quiet head space of a four-mile run, while yet another person finds mental and emotional health in painting.
One theme that seems to permeate all self-care advice is balance. In our busy lives, we have to be intentional to strike a healthy balance between our work lives and home. We must balance tasks and play. A hard one is to balance our own needs with those we love and care for. That requires balancing the time we spend with others against our alone time. This is a critical balance to strike, for it sparks our creativity and reenergizes us.
Investing in Self-Care
It’s seems odd for many of us to talk about self-care in investment terms. But self-care like investing is a long-term process. And similar to being a long-term investor, investing in self-care also requires patience, commitment, and balance. A gym membership is a great long-term self-care investment—if you go. Yet, only about half of those with gym memberships go on a regular basis. Patience and commitment are required for that investment to pay off. Your own wellbeing is worthy of investment, but you need to ensure you’re getting back the benefits and goals from self-care investments.
‘Treating Yourself’ v. Self-Care
There is a difference between ‘treating yourself’ and self-care, although we often confuse the two. According to a recent survey by Eventbrite and research company OnePoll, Americans spend about $2,388 per year on non-essential items to ‘treat themselves.’ The interesting thing about this survey is that 60% of women surveyed admitted to feeling guilty after purchasing material items to treat themselves. It’s safe to say that if 3/5s of a group experience negative feelings associated with something they’re doing under the broad umbrella of ‘self-care,’ it might be time to reexamine that.
If your ‘retail therapy’ trips are adding up and the things you purchase on those trips aren’t really feeling like self-care, then you may need to rethink ways to meet your physical, emotional, and mental needs. Although purchasing a nice lavender bath oil for a quiet and soothing bath certainly enhances your self-care, treating yourself to that designer purse doesn’t. Purchasing a new pair of walking shoes and then using them to walk three-miles daily is a great investment in self-care. A pair of red leather soled pumps you saw in a fashion mag—not so much.
Veneers, a Solid Long-term Self-Care Investment
We often don’t worry too much about spending for immediate self-care: the pedicure, the massage, the spa day. All of these things help us relax. After all, “we’re worth it!” If we think about them like investments, these are more day trading types of self-care. There is nothing wrong with them, but you need to balance your short-term self-care with some long-term goals.
Long-term self-care investments like veneers have higher price tags. If one of your goals is to improve your smile or feel more comfortable when you smile, then investing in veneers is a solid long-term self-care investment. Here are some reasons why:
- Studies show that aesthetic restorative treatments have a positive effect on patients’ self-esteem. Who doesn’t need a self-esteem boost?
- Veneers, when properly cared for last 10-15 years.
- Veneers can fix a variety of teeth issues, including stained teeth, crooked or crowded teeth, chipped and broken teeth, a gap between your front teeth, or teeth that are too small or large. And often by fixing just the teeth on the top front, your entire smile changes.
- Veneers aren’t porous like your natural teeth, so they have the advantage of being more stain resistant.
- Studies show that porcelain veneers show excellent aesthetic results and predictable longevity.
We’re Your Smile, Self-Care, and Veneers Center in El Cajon
Our office is known for smiles and fun, and we’ll pass those on to you when you visit. We believe that self-care includes excellent dental care. If you’re thinking it is time to invest in your smile, we’re here to discuss how veneers can help. We make our patients feel better and more confident. If you’d like to learn more about veneers and how they can enhance your smile, give Dr. Renae Wilson, DDS a call at 619-588-2420.