Welcome back to the Diaz Dental Studio (DDS) dental blog, where Dr. Juan Diaz and his team chime in on everything from general dental advice to in depth conversations about your oral health.

This blog article covers oral health, relationship, and dental anxiety.

Our mouths play a pivotal role in our physical health by providing our bodies with the nutrients they need to survive and grow, but they also serve important emotional and social functions. Smiles (and other facial expressions) also reveal quite a bit of information when making first impressions, as well as ongoing verbal and nonverbal communication. Our smiles play an especially important role when it comes to dating. In fact, over 75% of people feel that a smile is a person’s most attractive facial feature.

In this DDS dental blog post, we’ll discuss the various ways that our smiles impact our overall health and wellness, the ways that poor oral hygiene can damage our smiles, and delve into the psychological role of smiling in interpersonal relationships. If you want to find a partner, the science says you should get over the dental anxiety, take care of your mouth, and confidently flash your pearly whites.

How Your Smile Affects Your Oral Health and Wellness

Plenty of living things have mouths- not just humans. A mouth is a type of gateways where food or other forms of nourishment can enter the body of an organism. If pieces of food are big enough, they need to be broken down so that the nutrients can be absorbed in our stomachs, and that’s why we have teeth.

Regular brushing and flossing can help to remove surface stains and prevent discoloration, leaving our teeth looking brighter and healthier. This can boost our self-esteem and make us feel more confident in social situations.

If we don’t keep our teeth clean, bacteria will start to build up in our mouths, leading to infections, periodontal diseases, and eventually tooth loss.

Think about it: teeth are the only bones in our bodies directly exposed to the outside world. The rest of our bones are kept protected by layers of skin because their dense vitamin and mineral concentrations make them a target for the bacteria that grows naturally around us.

When food enters our mouths, bacteria comes in with it and begins to multiply. It forms a thin, slimy layer around our teeth known as plaque, which can harden into tartar if it isn’t removed in time. Brushing your teeth twice a day, flossing daily and visiting the dentist regularly all help prevent the buildup of bacteria, reducing the risk of developing cavities, gum disease and other oral health problems.

In particular, good oral hygiene is necessary in preventing tooth decay and gum disease. When our teeth and gums aren’t healthy, we’re less able to chew our food, negatively impacting our bodies’ abilities to digest and absorb the nutrients we need to function.

Smiling as Part of Your Social Life

Because humans developed the capacity for verbal and non-verbal communication, mouths have come to serve other important social uses. If the quality of our oral health is poor, then the hard plaque and tartar that builds up in our mouths will eventually erode away our teeth and gums (read this article to learn more about that process), resulting in outcomes that are likely to cause harm for us in numerous ways.

This is especially true for humans because we’re social creatures and a healthy smile is considered attractive in today’s culture. That’s why oral health is an important health indicator for potential partners. This isn’t even up for debate- numerous studies assert strong links between romantic interest and facial features.

Not only does our smile help us to attract potential mates and loved ones, but a healthy smile also plays a role in maintaining those relationships. Here’s how:

  1. Greeting others with a genuine smile is a non-verbal way to communicate love and affection. It also welcomes others and signals safety.
  2. Since a genuine smile communicates love, affection, and safety, it has a critical role in times of conflict. Then things get tense, smiling can help you and your partner to ease up and begin the process of calming down, making it easier for partners to find common ground and work towards a resolution.
  3. Smiles can also be used to communicate attunement, or an understanding of what the other person is thinking and feeling, which is important for bonding and building trust.

The Science of How Smiling Promotes Positive Thinking

Beyond its social and emotional significance, a smile also carries neuro-biological benefits that can help to stabilize and elevate your mood. Here are a few psychological benefits of smiling:

  • Serotonin, a type of neurotransmitter that promotes feelings of joy, and endorphins, which lessen feelings of pain, are both released with we smile
  • Smiling is also known to relieve stress by prompting your brain to release neuropeptides
  • Since healthy humans possess empathy, smiling tends to be contagious. When you smile, it can lead those around you to smile more as they mirror your feelings of happiness.
  • Research also shows that positive emotions can make you more productive at work, allowing you to get things done faster and feel less overwhelmed (negative emotions appear to do the opposite)

Your Oral Health Matters, So It’s Time to Confront Your Dental Anxiety

Almost 40% of Americans suffer from some form of dental anxiety, which is similar to the terms “dentophobia” and “odontophobia” (both of these terms mean fear of dentists). Whether you’re afraid of the loud sounds of the drill, receiving a surprisingly high bill, or judgment from dental care professionals about the state of your teeth, Dr. Juan Diaz, a local Dallas dentist, offers a peaceful and secure dental care environment. Since he has specializations as a special needs dentist, he’s trained in how to interact with and treat those struggling with even the most debilitating dental anxiety.

He also has several types of equipment and accommodations, like quieter drills and laughing gas, to make your appointment more comfortable. And probably the most important aspect of his dental practice is that he prioritizes non-invasive treatment plans and will tailor treatment plans to suit your financial situation.

Smiling brings us closer to one another, and if you find yourself shying away from a smile due to dental anxiety or embarrassment over the state of your oral health, consider taking a first step towards a much better quality of life and the smile you’ve always wanted.



“Dentophobia (Fear of Dentists).” Cleveland Clinic. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/22594-dentophobia-fear-of-dentists.

Stanborough, Rebecca Joy. “Beyond Real and Fake: 10 Types of Smiles and What They Mean.” Healthline. https://www.healthline.com/health/types-of-smiles#reward.

“What facial features put you off the most about a potential date?” Total Health. https://www.totalhealth.co.uk/blog/what-facial-features-put-you-most-about-potential-date.

“The Health Benefits of Smiling.” SCL Health. https://www.sclhealth.org/blog/2019/06/the-real-health-benefits-of-smiling-and-laughing/#:~:text=When%20you%20smile%2C.

“How Smiling Can Help Your Relationship.” Ross Family and Cosmetic Dentistry. https://drandrewrossdds.com/how-smiling-can-help-your-relationship/#:~:text=That%E2%80%99s%20a%20very

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