by Mike Hunter

While oral health is increasingly understood to impact overall health, evidence is mounting that smiling, alone, has health benefits.

A Smile for Health

Smiling may impact a person’s longevity. A 2010 study by Wayne State University measured the span of smiles on Major League Baseball players from their 1952 trading cards, and found those who didn’t smile in their pictures lived an average of 72.9 years, versus 79.9 years for the players who did smile.

Also, there are a number of therapeutic effects that smiling has on a person’s brain and demeanor, according to Dr. Jamie Reynolds, an orthodontist, national and international lecturer and author of World Class Smiles Made in Detroit, who notes smiling reduces stress hormone levels, taking on similar conditions to cortisol, adrenaline and dopamine, while increasing mood-enhancing endorphins. British researchers have found that one smile can provide the same level of brain stimulation as 2,000 chocolate bars, while lowering blood pressure at the same time.

“A beautiful smile is a combination of factors that communicate a sense of well-being to those who see it,” says Dr. Reynolds. On the other hand, “I’ve had some patients who are self-conscious about their smile, and it has seriously affected them. It made them feel timid, hesitant or even like they were poor or not intelligent because their teeth were crooked.”

A Smile for B Smiles

With IASIS Healthcare’s exclusive multi-year partnership with the Phoenix Suns and the Phoenix Mercury, the teams’ official dentist will be expanding his practice to a second location. John Badolato, D.D.S., known as “Dr. B,” opened the first satellite office of his Studio B Smiles practice in the IASIS Multi Specialty Clinic, allowing Dr. B to broaden its reach to potential patients in the Downtown Phoenix area while simultaneously expanding upon its partnership with local major league sports teams.

Dr. B is also the official cosmetic dentist for the ABC reality program “Extreme Makeover Weight Loss Edition,” and his state-of-the-art facility includes equipment to help patients put their best face forward. He has developed a signature “B+ Glo Pro Whitening” system that maximizes whitening results with the least amount of teeth sensitivity, using state-of-the-art equipment. He offers veneers that are individually hand-crafted. And his signature Modular Periodontal Therapy provides optimal hygiene for the patient’s gums with a combination of medicaments and cleaning methods customized for each patient’s unique oral health needs.

Non-verbal communication doesn’t always translate well between cultures. In the United States, for example, a thumbs-up signals all is well; that gesture in Australia has a vulgar meaning. In every culture and every country across the world, however, a smile means the same thing, essentially making it a universal language.

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