Being a dentist can be a rewarding job, but it also comes with plenty of challenges. In most studies, one of the common complaints of patients is scheduling. The appointment may be late, postponed, or canceled. This then lengthens the treatment time for days or even weeks.
Many factors can affect the promptness of such a service. Take, for example, orthodontics. Often, clinics are small to create the much-needed appliances, so they need to send the mold to the lab.
However, weather conditions, supply of materials, lab schedules, and even the pandemic can severely affect the supply chain.
But there’s a good reason dentists have to pursue on-time availability of high-quality orthodontics appliances, especially these days: the value of a smile.
What’s the Worth of a Smile?
Nat King Cole once crooned that whether a person is happy or sad, all they needed to do was smile. Then, they learned they’re going to get by.
Smiling seems to be one of the most common things people do, but probably because it can be routine, not many pay attention to its real value in life and career.
In a 2020 study by the University of South Australia, smiling is truly contagious. For the research, the team wanted to know the effects of smiling on the perception of facial and body expressions. For this, they asked their volunteers to bite a pen in their mouths to stimulate smiling.
Upon analysis, they learned that the act of smiling, even if in this instance was forced, altered the recognition of both body and facial expressions. And in both situations, the movements generated positive emotions.
Meanwhile, the University of Basel research revealed that laughter could help relieve stress; but because the intensity doesn’t really have a strong influence, smiling can have a similar effect.
How a smile, whether fake or real, can have this impact can be traced to how it changes the brain works. The Australian researchers explained that practicing smiling can stimulate the amygdala, the part of the brain that helps regulate emotions.
It can activate the release of feel-good hormones, such as serotonin, that stabilizes a person’s mood. Even an inauthentic smile can trick the brain into thinking that the person is smiling, so in turn, the person feels good.
Moreover, higher levels of serotonin can help combat anxiety, which can trigger or worsen the feelings of stress. A smile, therefore, may help calm frayed nerves.
Lastly, smiling can stimulate the reward center of the brain, and its intensity is comparable to that of receiving around £16,000 in cash.
Effects of Smiling on Career
A smile can also have a profound effect on a person’s career:
1. It Makes Other People Feel Good
Many studies already try to explain that smiling is contagious for a couple of reasons. First, a person tends to mimic the other’s reaction or emotion. This explains why you may feel your blood boil when someone is angry, even if that anger is not directed at you.
It’s the same thing with smiling. Even better, when the other start smiling, they experience the same pleasurable feelings you have. Their brain floods their body with endorphins, serotonin, and dopamine that help them relax and lower their heart rate and blood pressure.
2. Smiling Usually Equates to Confidence
Why do employers seek confident people? For one, these are likely easier to engage—that is, they have the self-knowledge and capacity to contribute to the company’s growth. They’re not afraid to offer suggestions, speak their minds, and collaborate.
Confident people (as opposed to narcissistic ones) are not intimidating. Instead, they are approachable because they are also eager to help.
While there are many ways to tell the workplace that a person possesses excellent self-esteem, one of the easiest strategies is to smile.
3. Smiling Can Land a Job
In one of the studies by Kelton Research, they discovered that a person who corrected their malocclusions or teeth misalignment would be 45 percent more likely to get the job against someone with crooked teeth even if they had the same qualifications. Further, people might also view them as nearly 60 percent more likely to become successful and wealthy.
This could be because a smile can help make a lasting impression. In the same research, almost 30 percent of Americans said the first thing they noticed in someone’s face is their teeth. About 24 percent shared that teeth were also the last thing they remembered after meeting somebody.
So what’s the value of the smile? Well, it’s priceless—an excellent motivation for dentists to work hard to treat their patient’s dental issues as soon as possible.