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Why You'll Live Longer By Smiling More

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Medically Reviewed By Colgate Global Scientific Communications

There’s a proverb, possibly originating from China, that says, ‘Every smile makes you a day younger.’ There’s some truth in that. Don’t underestimate the benefits of smiling. This simple facial expression can have a powerful effect on your moods and health. Smiling helps to improve our psychological and physical wellbeing, increase self-esteem and allow us get along better with friends and strangers alike.

Smile To Lower Stress

There are plenty of health benefits to smiling, laughing and positive thinking. When we frown or harbor too many negative emotions such as anger and fear, our bodies produce more of the stress hormone cortisol. This leads to a weaker immune system and rapid ageing. Prolonged stress puts you at higher risk to a host of health problems like heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes . When we laugh and smile, our bodies release a chemical known as endorphins, which act as natural stress and pain relievers, thus reducing the effects of cortisol. That's why cheerful people are perceived to be less stressed, and healthier too. A good belly laugh is great for the lungs, immune system and can even burn off some calories. Reducing stress will also improve your digestion, regulate your blood sugar, lower your blood pressure, make you feel calmer and as such, help you live longer.


American scientists recently studied an old photo of a team of baseball players, and found that those who smiled in the shot did indeed live longer. The big smilers lived an average of 79.9 years. The partial smilers, 75 years. The non-smilers, 72.9. That's a difference of 7 years between the players that had a penchant for grinning and those who remained stony-faced.

Smile More For Better Relationships

A smile brightens up any room, and people who grin frequently usually have more friends and do better at school and at work. When we smile, we are perceived by others as being more at ease, attractive and in control, so it's no surprise that smiley people are approached and spoken to more often than someone with a serious face. Research from the British Dental Health Foundation showed that the act of smiling can actually make you feel and act happier. Dr. Nigel Carter, the foundation's CEO, said, "We have long been drawing attention to the fact that smiling increases happiness both in yourself and those around you, so it is good to receive the backing of this scientific research. A healthy smile can improve your confidence, help you make friends and help you to succeed in your career."

Smiling is genuinely contagious, so when we smile at work, our colleagues and those we serve tend to smile back and feel chirpier around us. Perhaps that explains why we give waiters and waitresses who smile bigger tips!

Whiter Teeth, Better Smile

The combination of optimal health and good relationships can increase our chances of living a long and wonderful life, so there is really no reason to sulk!

Some of us would love to smile more, but perhaps we’re embarrassed because our teeth are stained or are yellow. According to dentists people with whiter teeth have the confidence to smile more.

Don’t let a little staining stop you from sharing your gorgeous smile with the world. Visit your dentist for advice on professional whitening, and maintain whiter teeth by using one of Colgate’s many whitening toothpastes like Colgate Visible White.