Can Smiling Reduce Stress?

If you have ever wondered, “Can smiling reduce stress?” the answer is yes. Through scientific research studies and health evaluations, smiling has a great effect on reducing stress. Not only that but there are additional results that suggest smiling can have beneficial effects on your overall health. Are you ready to get your smile on?

Stress Can Have a Negative Effect on Your Smile

Why do people frown? Normally, sadness can bring on a frown, or dissatisfaction, or something bad happening to ruin your day. Stress can also bring on a frown and affect your entire body. In a study of 2,412 participants published in 2016, it was found that psychological stress can contribute to oral health problems.

The study included socio-economic factors as well. Those with dental insurance coverage did fare better than those with the additional worry of how to pay the bills. The study also concluded that stress can contribute to other chronic health conditions including:

  • Respiratory infections
  • Childhood obesity
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Osteoporosis
  • Type II diabetes
  • Tobacco and drug use
  • Cancer

Among the oral problems linked directly to stress that can affect your smile are gum inflammation, teeth grinding (Bruxism), and dry mouth.

Gum Inflammation

Stress can be a direct cause of gum inflammation and periodontal disease in some people. Under stress, your body creates excess cortisol (an anti-inflammatory hormone). Cortisone released in the gums creates additional proteins which increase inflammation. This can progress to periodontal disease, pain, and have a negative impact on your smile.

Bruxism (Teeth Grinding)

Bruxism can be a response to anger, fear, and stress. This clenching is often done unconsciously and even during periods of sleep. Grinding can create many problems including:

  • Broken or damaged teeth
  • Jaw popping
  • Face pain
  • Headaches
  • Swelling
  • TMJ

As you can see, stress-related teeth grinding can result in many physical problems of the head, neck, and face.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Pitner Orthodontics (@pitnerortho)

Dry Mouth

Extreme stress can cause increased acid reflux. Because acid slows down saliva production, it can result in a dry mouth. Without the necessary flushing of saliva, your mouth can become a haven for bad breath, bad tastes, and increase the prevalence of tooth decay. Having a dry mouth can affect your smile in a negative way.

The Science Behind Your Smile

To reclaim the happiness of our youth would be awesome. Children smile on average about 400 times every day. Adults smile much less. A happy adult may smile from 40 to 50 times per day, while a typical adult only manages about 20 smiles.

Smiles can open doors, make you more likable, and even increase your productivity at work! But how does that work? Your body is an amazing machine that works together on every level. One thing begins a chain reaction that keeps moving through your entire body.

In the case of smiling, when you smile your brain releases neuropeptides (little molecules) that fight off stress. Next come other neurotransmitters such as serotonin, dopamine, and endorphins. Serotonin is your body’s natural anti-depressant. Endorphins are natural pain relievers.

The release of the secret weapons in your brain can create a loop that includes the people around you too. When we see a person smile, our natural reaction is to return the smile. We’ve all heard the old adages about “A happy workplace is a productive workplace” and other cliches linked to smiling. Turns out they have a real basis in science! Happy workers are more productive and express more creativity.

Creating a Healthier You With a Smile

There are many different ways to increase your daily smile ratio and all of them will have a lasting impact on your overall health and well-being. Practicing your smile in the mirror each morning can start your day on a happy note. If you don’t like your smile, you can always seek orthodontic treatment to create the smile of your dreams. In the meantime, use the smile you have to brighten your day!

When you smile and laugh regularly you will begin to feel better. Laughter yoga, laugh therapy, and other methods to teach people the benefits of laughter are rekindling this natural healing mechanism. There are many other ways to get your smile back:

  • TV programs and funny movies
  • Theater and comedy shows at local clubs
  • Spending time with family and friends
  • Look for things to laugh about throughout the day

Go to the zoo — the monkeys are always hilarious. Take a walk in a park near your home with a playground — the laughter of children is infectious. While we struggle behind our masks during the current pandemic, it may seem that no one is smiling, but that isn’t true. They may be hidden, but people are still smiling and you can too!

Benefits of Smiling and Laughing

We mentioned earlier that smiling can have beneficial health effects. In addition to relieving stress, smiling works miracles on your entire body. Smiling can also make you feel better about yourself. Among the benefits are:

  • Reduced pain
  • Less stress
  • Stronger immune system
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Greater endurance

Give it a try — smile into the mirror and see if your reflection smiles back at you.

Fake It ‘Til You Make It — Does It Work?

What if life is just so overwhelming that you can’t muster a real smile? The good news is that your brain can’t tell the difference between a real smile or a fake smile. When you smile, the movement of the muscles still creates the same release of happy juice from your brain (endorphins).

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Pitner Orthodontics (@pitnerortho)

What that means is that even when you “aren’t feeling it,” you can still use smiling to boost your level of happiness. While laughter and smiling are not a substitute for professional care if you need it, they can create at least a temporary boost.

If you are feeling stressed, try smiling or even laughing to combat it.

Can Smiling Reduce Stress? Try It and See!

If you don’t like your smile, contact Pitner Orthodontics to discuss how Invisalign® can give you the perfect smile you have always dreamed of.

Interested in reading more about smiles? Check out our blog series on The Science Behind Your Smile:

Dr. Duchenne’s Smile
A Smile is Universal
What Makes Babies Smile?
Does Smiling Create Happiness?
Can Just Smiling Make You Happy?

Please visit and like our pages on Facebook and Instagram.

Best Orthodontist in Columbia SC

When you are searching for the best orthodontist in Columbia, SC, Pitner Orthodontics will cover all your needs. Whether you are an adult seeking Invisalign treatment for yourself or a parent needing braces for a child, Dr. Leslie Pitner, and her dedicated staff will ensure you receive great treatment.

How to Find the Best Orthodontist in Columbia SC

When looking for a new orthodontist, you probably already have a list of requirements that include:

  • Family practice equipped for patients of all ages
  • More than one location
  • Experienced orthodontist and staff
  • Highly respected among peers
  • Offers more than one type of treatment

Although your list may have slightly different items, beginning with a list of what you want is a great place to start. Orthodontics is a specialized field of dentistry. While all orthodontists are also dentists, they complete an additional two to three years of education centering on orthodontics. A dentist is concerned with the overall care and condition of your teeth, while an orthodontist focuses on the structure of your jaw and the alignment of your teeth.

Pitner Orthodontics is Right for the Whole Family

Perhaps you are an adult seeking Invisalign or clear braces. Pitner Orthodontics has an office specifically for adult patients in downtown Columbia! That’s right — no dodging kids in the waiting room and worrying about a juice box squirting on you from across the room. Whatever your comfort zone, Dr. Pitner has created an environment to keep you at ease during treatment.

Likewise, Pitner Orthodontics has a second office in Columbia and another in Chapin that cater to family treatment. All three Pitner offices have highly-trained staff that will make your treatment as comfortable as possible.

Dr. Pitner is South Carolina’s number one Invisalign orthodontist. As a Diamond-Plus Invisalign provider, she is in the top one percent of all Invisalign providers! She has roots in the Chapin area, so she is also your neighbor. In fact, Dr. Pitner is eager to be your first choice for your family’s orthodontic care.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Pitner Orthodontics (@pitnerortho)

As part of an introductory offer, she includes a complimentary consultation for all new patients. This comprehensive exam includes a complete smile analysis with digital x-rays. The overall value of the introductory package is $249!

Get a Jump Start on Your Perfect Smile

To schedule your free consultation, click on the button on our website that says “Book Your Free Consult.” Follow the prompts and fill in the necessary information, then submit the form. If you have additional questions you may call any of our offices and our staff will gladly assist you:

Columbia Office: (803) 859-4442
Chapin Office: (803) 859-4377
Downtown Columbia Office: (803) 859-4346 (Adult-only Office)

Whatever your orthodontic needs are, Pitner Orthodontics has earned its rating as the best orthodontist in Columbia, SC. With their generous free initial consultation, you can begin the journey to a new, straight, and healthy smile today!

For more information, visit our orthodontic blog and our social media pages on Instagram and Facebook.

Best Invisalign Around Elgin

To discover the best Invisalign around Elgin, SC, you need to look no further than Pitner Orthodontics in nearby Columbia and Chapin. With three locations, Dr. Leslie Pitner and her staff are ready to guide you on a journey to find your dream smile. As a Diamond+ Invisalign provider, Dr. Pitner is among the top one percent of all providers in the nation.

Finding Invisalign Around Elgin

Whether you have already decided on Invisalign treatment or are just exploring options, Pitner Orthodontics can help. You can begin with a Virtual Consultation — just fill in the form to start right now. Dr. Pitner also offers a complimentary Smile Assessment which includes digital X-rays and a complete examination, valued at $249.

In addition to offering family treatment for all ages, Pitner has a dedicated office for adults. So whether you are a parent seeking treatment for a child or teen, or an adult seeking “grown-up” treatment, Pitner has what you need. Our downtown office, at 1201 Main St, Suite 900 in Columbia is perfect for busy adults. This is the only adult-only orthodontist office in the southeastern United States.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Pitner Orthodontics (@pitnerortho)

Our two family offices are located at 814 Old Bush River Road in Chapin and 5953 Wescott Road in Columbia. Whether you are in Columbia, Chapin, or nearby in Elgin, one of our locations is near you. Our staff are all highly-trained and continue enhancing their training regularly.

More About Invisalign with Pitner Orthodontics

Invisalign is a popular treatment because of the almost invisible tray aligners. It is a patient-centered treatment, meaning that the patient has more control of treatment than with traditional braces. Tray aligners are available for children in Phase 1 Treatment, teens in Phase 2 Treatment, and adults.

When comparing the cost of Invisalign against traditional metal braces, there is not much difference. Technology has given Invisalign the advantage in ease of treatment, duration, and cost. Using a 3-D scanner, a model of your teeth can be made. Using this and sophisticated computer software, a custom treatment plan is created.

Trays are worn for 20 to 22 hours per day. Patients remove the trays to eat, drink, and perform oral hygiene. Every two weeks, the patient will shift to the next set of trays in the series. Each tray set works to gradually shift the positions of the teeth to create a perfect smile.

The duration of your treatment plan depends on the severity of your beginning alignment problems. While some plans can be as short as six months, the average is between 12 and 18 months.

If you are ready to explore Invisalign in Elgin, please call Pitner Orthodontics to set up an appointment.

Make Your Appointment to Find Your Perfect Smile

New patients can contact us using any of the links on our home page to set up a Virtual Consultation or an in-office Smile Assessment. You may also use the form on our Contact Page. Please be sure to specify which of our three offices you would to visit.

Whether you are a new patient or a current patient, we look forward to hearing from you. Patients can also call any of our offices for questions or to set up appointments.

Please be sure to follow us on Facebook and Instagram for fun stuff, information, and updates.

Orthodontic Treatment Elgin SC

Selecting orthodontic treatment in Elgin, SC may not seem easy, but it can be. While every office claims to be the best, new patients should still conduct due diligence. As you research orthodontists in the Columbia, SC area, Dr. Leslie Pitner will stand out from the crowd. Pitner Orthodontics is rated as a Diamond+ Invisalign provider.

Finding Orthodontic Treatment in Elgin, SC

Although the most common reason for seeking an orthodontist is for braces, there are many other reasons to add a good orthodontist to your address book. Let’s start by discussing the difference between a dentist and an orthodontist.

A dentist is concerned with the general health of a patient’s gums, tongue, teeth, and mouth. A dentist will diagnose and treat cavities, infections, gum disease, and other oral ailments. Although an orthodontist receives the same training in general dentistry, they also receive additional specialized training. This extra training shifts the focus of an orthodontist to diagnosing and treating misalignments (malocclusions) of the teeth and jaws.

A shorter explanation could be that every orthodontist is also a dentist, but not every dentist is an orthodontist. When your dentist recommends that you seek an orthodontist, they are referring you to a specialist that can assist in straightening your teeth. But more than mere aesthetics, orthodontics also creates better overall health.

Why Choosing Pitner Orthodontics Makes Sense

When searching for orthodontic treatment in Elgin, SC, you want a doctor with excellent experience in the field. Dr. Leslie Pitner is a Diamond+ Invisalign provider, which means that she has created many great smiles.

To obtain Diamond+ status, an orthodontist must successfully treat patients using Invisalign. In addition to working with patients, Dr. Pitner wrote the book on orthodontics — “Improve Your Smile, Transform Your Life: A Guide to Orthodontics for Adults.”

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Pitner Orthodontics (@pitnerortho)

We say that orthodontics creates a healthier overall body. What we mean is that in addition to creating a beautiful smile, having straight teeth improves many other areas also.

Straight teeth are easier to brush and floss, which reduces oral hygiene problems such as tooth decay and infections. A straight and even bite path leads to a greater ability to eat without difficulty. Being able to chew food more efficiently leads to better digestion. So, as you see, orthodontics is about more than just having a great-looking smile.

If you’re ready to find out why Pitner Orthodontics should be your choice for orthodontic treatment in Elgin, SC, make an appointment for your complimentary consultation today.

Schedule Your First Appointment Online Today

Choosing an orthodontist is a life choice. When you find a good one, you want to continue that relationship for all your future orthodontic needs. Dr. Pitner is a good fit for every family. Between her attention to detail in creating individualized treatment plans to the comforting environment of the office and the caring staff.

You can get a start on your road to a great smile by taking advantage of the free initial consultation. Pitner Orthodontics is confident that after a first visit, patients will remain for continued treatment. This $249 value is free to all new patients. With no risk, doesn’t it make sense to see if Pitner Orthodontics is the right orthodontist for your family?

To get started, just click on the Appointment button on our home page. Fill out the requested information, then submit your appointment request. Our office staff will contact you to set things up. You may also call us at any of our three local offices.

Follow us on Facebook and Instagram to stay up-to-date.

Invisalign Braces Columbia SC

Is Invisalign right for you? Your dentist has said that you may need braces and they have referred you to an orthodontist. The one thing you remember from the TV commercial is that the trays are almost invisible. Where do you go to find out more information? If you don’t currently have an orthodontist, or are not happy with them, please consider Dr. Leslie Pitner at Pitner Orthodontics for Invisalign braces in Columbia SC.

Preparing for Invisalign Treatment

The Invisalign alignment tray system first received approval from the FDA in 1998. They became widely available after 2000. Since then, the system has undergone revision and improvement. Today, it is one of the most effective tooth-straightening methods in use.

Although Invisalign can’t fix all alignment problems, it has been successful in straightening the smiles of  over 8 million happy people. That figure includes over 1.4 million teens. If you think Invisalign might be right for you, contact Pitner Orthodontics by completing the virtual consultation form.

After we receive your contact information, we may ask you to submit additional information. During your virtual consultation, we will discuss our initial findings. We may discuss several treatment options so that you can select a plan that fits your needs and your insurance.

If we determine that Invisalign is right for you, you will have an in-person examination. Dr. Pitner will use 3D imaging equipment to make a map of your teeth and mouth. Handy-dandy computer software will configure a series of graduating tray liners. The liners will gently shift your teeth into correct alignment as you wear them.

What to Expect During Treatment

At the beginning of your treatment program, you will receive several sets of tray liners. You will wear each set for approximately two weeks. As you shift into a new set of liners, you may experience minor discomfort that will only last a couple of days.

You will wear your tray aligners for 20 to 22 hours per day. This includes wearing them to sleep. Removing trays for eating and drinking (except for water) can sometimes be inconvenient. One of the best perks of the Invisalign system is that there are no dietary restrictions. Oral hygiene is crucial — remember to brush and floss before reinserting your tray liners. Failure to properly clean your teeth can accelerate tooth decay.

Depending on your treatment plan, you will have periodic appointments for Dr. Pitner to check your progress. Minor adjustments may occur in your tray schedule, and you will receive additional tray sets.

Although some Invisalign programs are as quick as six months, the average treatment period is 12 to 18 months. Because the trays are almost invisible many people won’t even realize that you are wearing braces.

Invisalign Braces in Columbia SC

Invisalign braces are available in Columbia, SC through Pitner Orthodontics which is a Diamond-Plus Invisalign provider. Dr. Pitner and the entire staff in any of our three offices are ready to welcome you.

Our Columbia office:
5953 Wescott Rd.
Columbia, SC 29212
Phone: (803) 408-7372

Downtown Office:
Pitner Orthodontics: Orthodontics for Adults
1201 Main St. Suite 900
Columbia, SC 29201
Phone: (803) 667-3909

Our Chapin Office:
814 Old Bush River Rd.
Chapin, SC 29036
Phone: (803) 345-6767

We are also on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.