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.

 

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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).

 

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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.

 

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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.

Invisalign Braces in Columbia SC

If you are looking for Invisalign Braces in Columbia, SC, Pitner Orthodontics is ready to help. As a Diamond+ Invisalign provider, Dr. Leslie Pitner and her entire staff are experts. In fact, they have earned the title of Number 1 Invisalign provider for the entire state of South Carolina!

What is a Diamond+ Invisalign Provider?

Align Technology, the makers of Invisalign, use a rating system to grade orthodontists who offer Invisalign treatment. For each successful treatment plan, Align Technology awards a point value. Orthodontists accumulate points to reach different levels of service:

  • Bronze = 0 to 4,999 points
  • Silver = 5,000 to 23,999 points
  • Gold = 24,000 to 29,999 points
  • Gold+ = 30,000 to 59,999 points
  • Platinum = 60,000 to 99,999 points
  • Platinum+ = 100,000 to 139,999 points
  • Diamond = 140,000 to 199,999 points
  • Diamond+ = 200,000 points and above

Only one percent of all Invisalign providers reach the Diamond+ level. As you can see by looking at the above scale, the higher up the grading scale, the more difficult it becomes to advance to the next level. Basically speaking, a provider that attains Diamond+ provider status has completed a lot of successful Invisalign treatments. You can be confident that Pitner Orthodontics is very knowledgeable about Invisalign treatment.

Invisalign Braces in Columbia SC

Whether you need minor alignment correction or some major adjustment, Pitner Orthodontics will prescribe the most effective type of treatment for you. The process begins with a virtual consultation. After that, our staff will assist you in setting up an in-office consultation.

The initial consultation (with a treatment plan) is complimentary. This is a $249 value that includes X-rays and digital images of your smile. Dr. Leslie Pitner will meet with you, complete an examination, and discuss your treatment options with you.

 

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Although not everyone is a candidate for Invisalign treatment, technological advances have made the scope of treatment much wider. Invisalign can now treat cases from minor malocclusion to more complex issues. Among some of the problems that can be addressed with Invisalign are overbite, underbite, crossbite, open bite, overcrowding, and gap teeth.

The entire process for Invisalign treatment is streamlined for efficiency. It begins with the use of integrated 3-D technology that creates a map of your smile and mouth. Each tray is custom and specific to your teeth and jaw structure. They will gently guide your teeth into the correct positions over a period of time. You will switch to a new set of alignment trays about every two weeks.

Although some treatment plans can be as short as six months, the average time is 12 to 18 months. During that time, you will need to wear your trays for 20 to 22 hours each day, only removing them for meals and brushing. While this may seem difficult at first, it will eventually become a habit that will result in the smile of your dreams.

Contact Pitner to Begin Today

Whether you opt for Invisalign or a different treatment method, Pitner Orthodontics will be right there by your side. As a family orthodontic office, we handle all ages. Our early treatment (Phase 1) begins for children who have lost most of their primary teeth and have some of their adult teeth in place. Phase 2 treatment occurs in pre-teen and teen years and includes adults with no previous orthodontic history.

If you are ready to begin exploring treatment options, please contact Pitner Orthodontics. We offer three convenient locations, with our downtown office dedicated to adult orthodontics. Additionally, we understand how important your time is. We make every attempt to keep appointments on time, with minimal waiting periods, and fast, efficient service.

To schedule your initial consultation, you may use the “Book Your Free Consult” button on our site or fill in the information on our contact form. Alternately, you can call any of our three offices to schedule an appointment:

Columbia Office: (803) 859-4442
Chapin Office: (803) 859-4377
Downtown — Orthodontics for Adults: (803) 859-4346

Also, don’t forget to stop by our social media pages on  Facebook and Instagram.

Orthodontist Elgin SC

Finding an orthodontist in Elgin SC can be challenging with so many claiming to be the best. Pitner Orthodontics lets their reputation speak for them. As a Diamond+ Invisalign provider, Pitner is an expert in treating adults and teens. With three locations (one dedicated to adults-only service), we are close to you.

Finding an Orthodontist in Elgin SC

If you need braces, there is no better time to contact Pitner Orthodontics to set up your first appointment. The process begins with requesting your free virtual consultation — click the handy link on this page. Once that is complete, we will set you up with a free in-office Smile Assessment for a complete examination, x-rays, and digital images of your teeth.

After your Smile Assessment, Dr. Leslie Pitner will discuss your orthodontic options with you. Whether you are an adult needing a slight alignment correction or you have children needing braces, Pitner can meet your needs. As a family practice, we serve patients as young as 7 for early intervention and monitoring. Our Adults-only office caters to busy adults.

Pitner Orthodontics — Making Smiles Better

Pitner Orthodontics offers free Smile Assessments for children beginning at age 7. No referral is necessary. Our early intervention program monitors younger children to ensure that their growth is progressing normally. Although your child may never need braces, our monitoring program can catch potential programs early. This makes alignment problems easier to correct.

For teens, Pitner Orthodontics offers traditional braces and Invisalign Teen. Many teens are self-conscious and don’t want traditional braces or clear ceramic braces. Fortunately, you can opt for Invisalign Teen. Invisalign is a series of clear alignment trays that gradually realign your teeth. The trays are nearly invisible, require fewer trips to the orthodontist, and are a great boost to a teen’s self-esteem.

For adults and teens, Pitner also offers lingual braces. Although similar to traditional braces, lingual braces are mounted on the backs of teeth, making them less visible. Dr. Pitner may recommend traditional braces, lingual braces, or Invisalign depending on your needs. Taking advantage of the free smile assessment (valued at $249) will give you a jump start on determining your orthodontic needs.

As a family orthodontist, Dr. Pitner also recognizes that adults have busy schedules. She operates an adults-only office, conveniently located downtown and catering to busy professionals. If you want a perfect smile but have a busy schedule, Dr. Pitner can work with you.

Make Your Appointment Today

Our three office locations:

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

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Check out our blog for posts about different types of treatments offered at Pitner Orthodontics.

Invisalign Near Me

If you are looking for an Invisalign provider, you undoubtedly searched “Invisalign near me” and the answer was two million pages of results. Shorten your search and bookmark Pitner Orthodontics.

How Invisalign Rates Providers

Align Technologies uses a system of points to rate dentists and orthodontists providing Invisalign service. Each level corresponds with a set number of points:

  • Bronze – 0 Points
  • Silver – 5,000 Points
  • Gold – 24,000 Points
  • Gold Plus – 30,000 Points
  • Platinum – 60,000 Points
  • Platinum Plus – 100,000 Points
  • Diamond – 140,000 Points
  • Diamond Plus – 200,000 Points

Doctors earn points by providing treatment and the points are accumulated as follows:

  • Full Treatment — 1,000 Points
  • Teen Treatment — 1,000 Points
  • Assist Treatment — 1,000 Points

Dr. Pitner is rated as a Diamond Plus Invisalign Provider. There is no higher rating, which is why Pitner Orthodontics can boast that they are the best Invisalign provider in South Carolina.

Because your smile is a part of who you are, you want it in the best possible hands. Just fill out the Virtual Consultation request to get a start today.

Invisalign Near You

Invisalign is a system of nearly invisible alignment trays that are worn over your teeth. They gently nudge your teeth into the correct position. Since the trays are removable, you don’t have to worry about special diets. Simply remove the trays for eating and drinking, then brush and floss before reinserting the trays.

Although using Invisalign does require some dedication from you, they are an excellent way to improve your smile without the stigma of traditional braces. You will need to wear the trays for 20 to 22 hours per day. If you skimp on the daily wearing, your treatment period may be longer. You are in charge of your treatment with Invisalign.

Even if you have been told in the past that you don’t qualify for Invisalign treatment, we encourage you to take advantage of our free consultation. Our Smile Assessment, a $249 value, includes digital x-rays and complete smile analysis. Simply use the handy “Virtual Consultation” button on our website to begin your journey to a great smile.

If the cost concerns you, relax. During your Smile Assessment, we will discuss cost, insurance options, and easy payment programs. Our goal is to make your smile perfect and we can’t do that if you’re frowning!

Invisalign is perfect for busy teens and adults. They are almost invisible and most people won’t even realize you are wearing braces.

Ditch the Rest and Go With the Best

Ditch your search results and bookmark Pitner Orthodontics. When it comes to your smile, why settle when you can have the best? With three offices in South Carolina, there is definitely one near you. Dr. Pitner is eager to be your Invisalign provider.

Columbia Office:
5953 Wescott Rd., Columbia, SC 29212
Phone: (803) 667-3909

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

Pitner Downtown: Orthodontics for Adults:
1201 Main St., Suite 900, Columbia, SC 29201
Phone: (803) 408-7372

Check out our social media pages. Give us a “Like” or a “Follow.”

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Don’t wait — set up your Free Smile Assessment today.

Orthodontist in Lexington, SC

If you haven’t had to use the services of an orthodontist in Lexington, SC, before, then you may not know what you’re looking for when you’re trying to select one. However, it’s very important that you choose an orthodontist that’s going to take great care of you and your family members. Therefore, before you decide where to go, check out some of the following traits that you’ll want to be on the lookout for when you’re trying to find the right orthodontist.

Orthodontist In Lexington, ScEducation and Experience

People who want to be orthodontists have to study hard and go through a lot of training to graduate. That’s why it’s important to make sure your orthodontist has a good education. But in addition to education, you’ll also want to ensure they have a lot of experience. The more experience they have, the more relaxed you can be, knowing that they know exactly what they’re doing.

Good Environment

Most people don’t love going to their orthodontist in Lexington, SC, as it can be a stressful experience. Because of that, you want to choose an orthodontist who fosters a friendly environment from the second you walk in the door. If you choose a good orthodontist, the staff will be friendly and welcoming, and you’ll feel as comfortable as possible over the course of your appointment.

Convenience

Like most people these days, you probably live a busy life. You have a lot going on, which means you don’t want to have to travel far just to get a checkup. That’s why it’s always a good idea to look for an orthodontist in Lexington, South Carolina, so you don’t have to drive for miles whenever you have an appointment.

Find the Best Orthodontist in Lexington, SC

When you’re ready to work with the best, come on out to see Dr. Pitner at Pitner Orthodontics, your ideal orthodontist in Lexington, SC. Give us a call at 803-781-5225 or schedule a virtual consultation with us today.