Picture your perfect t-shirt, you know the one. You’ve had it for years, and it is just the right level of soft. It is comfortable and comforting and you love wearing it. Sure, it is a little worn out and the colors aren’t exactly what they were when you bought it, but it is still perfect (even with that small tear or stain–those have great stories, right?) You don’t throw those perfect shirts away, no matter what Marie Kondo says. She can have grandma’s china, but you are keeping that shirt.
In the classic movie “Annie,” there’s a scene where the little orphan is in the radio studio with Daddy Warbucks and President Roosevelt. She’s there to send out a plea to find her missing parents. Before she wins the world’s love with “The Sun’ll Come Out Tomorrow,” the radio singers plant another bug in our ear:
Bert Healy and those Boylan sisters have more going on than just perfectly coordinated outfits:
“Hey, Dapper Dan
You’ve both got your style
You’re never fully dressed
Without a smile!”
So why are these songbirds so intent on getting you to smile?
The internet bombards us with “perfect” smiles and so we think that our chipped and flawed smile might not be worthwhile. As a result, we keep our lips closed and make strategies to “smile” in a way that doesn’t show our teeth or draw too much attention. We take that comfortable shirt and shove it in the back of a drawer, even if it makes us feel so good.
Because smiling DOES make us feel good, doesn’t it? How many times a day do you think you smile? Children average 400(!) smiles a day. Happy adults average 40-50 times a day. Why have we stopped smiling when it feels so good and does so much good? If your teeth are holding you back from smiling, think about these benefits that you are missing out on:
- Lower blood pressure
- Lower stress
- Lower pain
- Increased endurance
- Stronger immune system
Yep. Smiling does all that, and more! It cheers you up and cheers up the people around you. Smiling tells your brain that you’re happy. Then your brain tells the rest of your body. And soon you feel happier. Plus, the people around you feel happier, too. Studies show that smilers are more productive and successful.
Do What You Can Do
Your favorite t-shirt and your smile have quite a bit in common. They’ve both been with you for a while. Sometimes, however, we aren’t as comfortable in our smile as we are in that shirt. And you can change shirts a bit more easily than you can change your smile. So, what can you do if you don’t have a Bert Healy kind of smile? Perhaps your teeth are a little yellow or aren’t Instagram-perfect straight?
If there are things about your smile you don’t love, there are many ways to fix them. We are here in Weber County with the best cosmetic dentistry available. We offer services like teeth whitening and porcelain veneers—things that can help you feel more comfortable and confident with your smile. There are also steps you can take at home by brushing, flossing, and rinsing more effectively to keep your teeth as white and shiny between cleanings as possible. (We can walk you through a few steps when you come in.)
Dealing with Smiling Anxiety
As easy as Bert Healy might make it sound, sometimes smiling when you are insecure about your smile isn’t that easy. You take care of your teeth, you’ve allowed us to polish and whiten them and fix any chips or cracks. What are you waiting for? In truth, it can take time, but you can begin to feel the shift and feel as comfortable about smiling as you do in that favorite shirt. How?
This might seem silly, but practice makes perfect. We don’t mean standing in front of the mirror and getting your smile “perfect.” We mean practicing loving the smile you have. Look in the mirror every day and smile! Look at your eyes, your cheeks, your smile, and enjoy the happy face you see. Say something nice about yourself. Yep, say it out loud.
It might sound silly, but there is power in positive affirmation. Your smile is unique–embrace it! Smile at yourself in the mirror and say, “I am good at _________ and I like that about myself.” This might be harder than it sounds, but it is a powerful practice. Soon, you’ll start to see that smile as more beautiful than ever, and that perfect shirt will come back out from the back of the drawer.
So, get dressed. Put that smile on. No one else has a smile like yours; spread it around.