How Your Smile—Or Lack Thereof—Affects You Professionally

Have you ever been sitting in an interview and either felt like you forgot to check your teeth beforehand, or forgot to brush them, or—worse yet—felt unable to kick off a meeting with even a single smile? 

 

It’s a challenge for millions of Americans, and it certainly isn’t fair, but people with a “serious look” (or a specific lack of natural smiles) can struggle greatly in their professional lives, even finding themselves without a job offer they’re otherwise qualified for.  

 

So, what’s the psychology behind this insufferable truth that being “too serious” has a direct impact on your ability to thrive professionally?  

 A smile can leave someone without a job

Let’s review the science first… 

 

When you experience anything that brings about positive, uplifting vibes, neurons travel through the cortex of your brain, signaling the muscles around the mouth to show those pearly whites. A smile is our natural reaction to joy, amusement, and contentment.  

 

Once this reaction begins, a truly genuine smile can be observed elsewhere in the face, such as the crinkle around your eyes. Or, ever hear someone say that a person has a “sparkle” in his or her eyes? This is our way of recognizing a genuine smile over a fake one. 

 

Simply put, your ability to effortlessly, unabashedly and genuinely smile makes you a more likable person. And it goes without saying that being more likable can in turn help you get a job or make a career…all because of that ability to smile assuredly. 

 

Smiling at people makes them feel good about you – it’s one of the most fundamental human reward signals that displays friendliness, trustworthiness and honesty. 

 

Ways a smile can improve your professional life
 

Much of the time, patients steer clear of smiling when they feel they have “bad teeth.” When a person who doesn’t feel confident about their smile does face the underlying health issues, or seeks the cosmetic dental treatments, they can finally begin to move past the trauma and on to a successful and more self-assured professional life.  

 

So, how does that genuine smile improve your professional life? Below, we’ve listed a few ways in which it can improve certain areas of your life, including professional, and what the effects of the change would bring: 

 

  1. Improved Health – having strong teeth and gums allows you to consume all kinds of food, allowing you to enjoy each meal and also get all the necessary nutrients and properly digest food.
  2. Improved Attractiveness – the saying “a happy child is the prettiest/most handsome” isn’t a “thing” for no reason. Smiling makes a person radiate positivity. Being able to smile without a second-thought is invaluable to a person’s happiness—and it plays in your favor with how comfortable you make bosses and colleagues feel.
  3. Improved Self-esteem – the physical act of smiling actually improves your emotional state by sending happy signals to your brain, which releases endorphins, in turn boosting your mood.1 You also feel more confident, are perceived as confident, and help others feel more confident, too. This is routinely needed at work.
  4. Better Relationships – there might be no better way to make a person feel than by smiling at them, or reciprocating a smile. When someone is happy, and you share in the moment, it will be smiles all around…especially if that person is your boss, a colleagues or business partner.
  5. Improved Speech – tooth abnormalities can affect how you pronounce things. Being able to speak clearly will always be valuable at work—it improves your chances of being understood, so that work can get done and everyone can collaborate efficiently.  

 

How to live a better personal life with an enhanced smile 

 

Some of the ways in which patients often pursue a more confident and healthier smile, thereafter reporting improvements in their social and professional lives, include:  

 

  1. Teeth Whitening
  2. Crowns
  3. Bonding
  4. Veneers
  5. Snap-On-Smile
  6. Enamel Shaping and Contouring
  7. Bridges
  8. Braces
  9. Clear Aligner Trays
  10. Dental Implants 

 

We here at Dr. Marchbanks’s office want you to feel confident and to thrive in your professional life! Call us today, and we’ll be more than happy to make your smile reflect how you really feel on the inside. 

 

Prevention is always better than the cure – so make sure you practice good oral hygiene. The better you take care of your teeth, the less damage control you’ll need to do later on.

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The List: Stress-Free Dentist Visits

John Smith was 15 years old when he needed to have his impacted wisdom teeth extracted. Unfortunately, his dental office didn’t tell him that he couldn’t eat before coming in, which meant they could not sedate him when he arrived. 

 

Instead, the office used a combination of novocain and laughing gas to prep him for the extraction. However, when going in to remove John’s wisdom teeth, the dentist forgot to deliver novocain to the 4th quadrant of John’s mouth, leading to an experience that would leave John fearing every dental appointment thereafter. 

 

An estimated 40 million Americans seriously fear the dentist, according to a recent Columbia University College of Dental Medicine survey.1  

 

This statistic is compelling when we consider the consequences of avoiding the dentist, which is the natural reaction to this fear. Many patients don’t realize that the rest of the body will not remain unaffected if they ignore their oral health. Teeth and gums share tissue, nerves and blood with other parts of the body, which means that good oral hygiene is essential to good overall health. 

 Stressed by a visit to the dentist?

So, where does dental anxiety come from? And how can you get past it? 

 

Dental anxiety and where it comes from:  

 

  • Painful prior incident 
  • Fear of loss of control 
  • Fear of pain (most common) 
  • Fear of embarrassment 

 

Pain is as much a cognitive (thinking) experience as it is an emotional one. In order for the entire dental office experience to be pleasant, there are precautionary steps you can take to not only prepare, but also to allow the dentist and staff to understand where you are emotionally with the visit.  

 

PRO TIPS: 

  

  • Ask to speak to the dentist about your fears before you come in—this is part of Dr. Marchbank’s job, and you have no need to feel like you’re asking too much  
  • Be honest about your fears with a member of the staff 
  • Bring a friend or relative you trust 
  • Take advantage of a distraction—listen to a new album you downloaded, or load an episode of a show you like to your phone 
  • Try controlled breathing: take in a big breath and let it out very slowly (this will slow your heartbeat and relax your muscles, reducing the stress levels that can lead to a state of panic) 
  • Try progressive muscle relaxation: tense a group of muscles and then relax them, then do another group (toes, calves, thighs, abs, fingers, etc.) 
  • Avoid caffeine and sugar before a visit, and eat a high-protein meal beforehand  
  • Select a low-stress appointment time for your schedule, whether that’s a weekend or early morning—less pressure means less anxiety! 
  • For pediatric cases, try to condition your children at home by practicing placing fingers gently in their mouth to “examine” teeth, and brushing their teeth yourself as though you were “playing dentist” 
  • Lastly, for parents, do NOT project your personal fears about the dentist onto your children—with the leaps and bounds dentistry has made in the last couple decades, children’s experiences are largely positive 

 

Good Dentistry 

 

Reducing dental anxiety can actually increase a person’s pain threshold, and lead to greater trust of your dentist. Plus, you’ll have a healthier mouth, and a much more positive outlook on dentistry and oral health in general. 

 

Some of the ways that we here at Dr. Marchbank’s office help in lowering the stress of a dentist visit are:  

 

  • Gently explaining what the you will feel, and for about how long  
  • Frequently ask you for permission to continue 
  • Give you every opportunity to stop the procedure, using cues such as raising your hand 
  • Making time for requested breaks 

 

If dealing with the anxiety of getting in to see the dentist is the biggest problem you face as our patient, then we’ll be thankful knowing that your experience at Dr. Marchbank’s office will be exactly the positive reaffirmation you need! 

How Many of these Top-10 Tooth-brushing Mistakes Are You Making?

According to the Internet (and to Dr. Marchbanks, here to tell you how it really is), there are a plethora of ways to make mistakes when brushing your teeth. Putting that toothbrush in your mouth at the very least is a step in the right direction, so don’t feel bad if you’re a “consistent-but-bad” brusher. But if you’re reading this, you might already suspect that you’re not doing it all to perfection. 

 Top 10 Teeth-brushing Mistakes

Read on to see how to keep heading in the right direction to teeth brushing like a pro. 

 

Let’s begin! 

 

#1 Using your toothbrush for too long (time wise): 

Yes, it IS possible to brush too long. Why? Two words: gum damage. Too much abrasion against the gums can lead to sensitivity and deterioration. 

 

#2 Using your toothbrush too long (consumer wise): 

Using your toothbrush longer than 3 months and not tossing it is TOO long. Make sure to replace it, or the bristles will be packed with exactly the bacteria you’re trying to brush off every day. 

 

#3 Using wrong toothbrush: 

Have you spoken with Dr. Marchbanks about what type of toothbrush is best for your teeth and gums? It’s worth asking at your next visit! You wouldn’t want to be using something with too firm of bristles—or not firm enough. 

 

#4 Rinsing your mouth with water after brushing your teeth: 

Did you know that when you rinse with water, it cuts down on the fluoride’s efficiency? Try to rinse with a mouthwash that contains fluoride, and wait 30 minutes before eating or drinking. 

 

#5 Storing your toothbrush in the bathroom: 

You want to keep your toothbrush clean? Imagine that! It should be no surprise that germs can grow on the brush you’re using to clean AWAY those same germs. Clean your brush thoroughly with water when you’re finished with it each day. And then, store the brush in a cabinet or a cup with a cap around the bristles. 

 

#6 Not flossing: 

Calcified deposits develop in those crevices that the toothbrush won’t reach. The plaque needs to be removed, so find a time of day that works to get your flossing in if you’re so convinced there isn’t time when you brush. If it helps, remember that statistics have shown a correlation with people who floss being more successful. We can buy into that. 

 

#7 Forgetting the tongue: 

There are bacteria crawling all over your tongue, too—which is also one of the biggest culprits of bad breath. Some toothbrushes come with a tongue scraper on the opposite side. It might feel strange at first, but nothing beats fresh breath and a healthy, clean and pink tongue (especially in time for mistletoe). 

 

#8 Incorrect techniques or motions: 

Be sure not to start in the same place each time you move in to brush. Brush in circular motions, and make sure you’re reaching those molars. Don’t just brush back and forth, either. And finally, make contact with both the teeth and gum lines! 

 

#9 Brushing your teeth more than twice a day:  

You really only need to brush twice a day. Any more than that, and we approach “brushing too long” again. 

 

#10 Wait 30 minutes after a meal to brush your teeth: 

Once upon a time, there was a girl who would brush her teeth immediately after a meal so she wouldn’t eat any more—and, for some reason, she developed sensitive gums. Why? Brushing your teeth straight after a meal can actually damage your teeth, since the pH-level in your mouth is lower than normal, making brushing overly-abrasive with higher levels of acid.

The History of Halloween

In modern day America, on October 31st we celebrate what has long been referred to as Halloween…a “celebration” that dates back as far as 2,000 years ago to Celtic history. 

 History of Halloween

History 

 

Long, long ago in what is now Ireland, Scotland and the United Kingdom, there was a festival celebrated on November 1st called “Samhain” (pronounced: sow-in), where Celtic farmers honored the change in seasons, the summer’s end, and remembered the deceased. Because they believed that the deceased returned as ghosts on the night before Samhain, the people of the Celtic regions took part in traditions—or more like superstitions—that helped ward off the more troubled spirits during this time. Some of these traditions were to leave food and wine on the front porch, or wear masks when people left the house so that they’d be mistaken for fellow ghosts.  

 

In the 8th century, because of how recognized the Samhain festival was throughout the region, the Christian church made the day an official holiday called “All Hallows’ Day,” therefore turning the night before into “All Hallows’ Eve.”  

 

Now, one might wonder how the term Halloween itself came about (but you’ve probably seen the connection). When looking to Christian etymology, we can see Halloween, or its “Hallowe’en” origin, date back to approximately 1745. In Scottish, the word “eve” is even, and the dialect’s contraction turns even into e’en or een; and “hallowe’en” means “hallowed evening,” which gave us Halloween! 

 

When the potato famine hit Ireland in the mid 19th century, the Irish fled to America for food and prosperity. With them they brought their traditions, like making jack-o-lanterns, “souling,” and “guising.” The modern-day Jack-o-lantern came about due to the combination of trying to ward off spirits and from children spooking people in graveyards.  

 

Modern day trick-or-treating gets its infamy from “souling” and “guising.” Souling was where the needy would beg for pastries known as “soul cakes,” and in return they would pray for the giver’s deceased relatives. Guising was where young people would dress in costumes and sing, recite poetry or tell jokes in exchange for food, wine and or other offerings.

Today 

 

Fast forward 150+ years, and we have an American institution. To date, Halloween is a 6-billion-dollar industry where nearly 120 million children and adults in the United States participate in dressing up. And another fun fact: almost 12% of Americans dress up their pet on Halloween, too. 

 

As you may well know, modern day festivities include parades, bobbing for apples, trick-or-treating, cooking, costumes, and best of all…pumpkin patch-going, picking and carving! 

 

Speaking of pumpkins, they’re native to Central America, and now grow on six different continents in approximately 30 different varieties! The most common type of pumpkin used for carving is called the “Connecticut Field Pumpkin.” 

 

Pumpkins are related to the gourd family, which includes: cucumbers, honeydew melon, cantaloupe, zucchini and watermelon…among others. They also are a very well-rounded source of nutrients containing: potassium, vitamin A, vitamin C, phytosterols, beta-carotenes, carotenoids, tryptophan, fiber, protein and more.  

 

Whether you’re in it for the bag of candy or for the delicious foods that get prepared at the festivities, or for the extravagant costumes and pumpkin carving, Halloween is a holiday that simultaneously speaks to mortality and celebrates the living moment and nearness of family—and warmth of tradition!

I forgot about Mom and Dad!

Proper oral hygiene is normally learned when we’re kids, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be someday forgotten. As we age, particularly as we really climb up there in years, some of the same motor challenges that inhibited us in brushing our teeth as children suddenly give us trouble all over again. 

 

Let’s say you have kids at home, or even grandkids who come to visit, and you’ve shown your stuff in educating them on how to keep good oral hygiene. That’s great, really it is. But, have you thought about aging family members? 

 

As people get older, the aging process inevitably affects the mouth. This means that tooth care becomes even more crucial—but with declining motor skills or memory, it can be hard for some aging members of the family to stay on top of it. And yet, we don’t have the same culture of helping (re)educate our parents on oral health when the time comes, despite how necessary it sometimes is. 

Taking care of Mom and Dad
Remind Mom and Dad about the need for good oral health—and the diseases they can help prevent by taking care of their teeth 

 

  1. No matter whether your parents still have their natural teeth or prosthetics (or a combination), they absolutely have to keep on brushing their teeth two times per day. Care should be given to each tooth as they brush.
  2. There’s no “get out of jail” card on flossing just because you’ve aged. Make sure your parents know that they have to floss at least once per day—this doesn’t change, no matter what their diet.
  3. Mouth dryness is a bigger issue among older generations, which can lead to periodontal diseases. The best way to combat this is by drinking enough water every day. For those aging adults who do still find it comfortable to chew gum, a pack of their favorite flavor is another ready stimulant for a boost in saliva production.
  4. Dental check-ups are even more important as people age—the minimum is two per year. Additionally, any change they notice in their mouth should be an alarm that it’s time to make an appointment for any family member. 

 

Dental challenges among older populations 
With age, natural saliva production decreases, and the oral mucosa that the mouth produces to keep the cavity healthy becomes thinner. And with slowing and blocked blood flow, nutrients aren’t carried into the soft tissues to heal sores and dry lips as quickly as they would in a younger patient’s mouth. 

 

Taste buds begin to respond differently, too, so be sure to maintain an open dialogue about what sounds “good” to eat and what doesn’t, and try to accommodate personal taste where you can, and encourage healthy meals that include the preferred ingredients. 
Combined with the use of medications that bring side effects like dry mouth and other symptoms, the aging-related oral irregularities and waning oral hygiene can lead to serious oral disease. It might start with gum tissue becoming inflamed, sensitive and prone to bleed. If not treated, these symptoms can lead to teeth loss and even the loss of bone tissue. 
It’s an exciting, and sometimes exhausting, prospect at helping the young ones learn good oral hygiene. We celebrate the mental image of “Father/Mother of the Year” as we help kids establish oral hygiene habits that we’re hopeful will stick. We enjoy our successes, and even more we enjoy those sweet smiles that show our job’s been well done. 

 

But what about Mom and Dad? 

 

Aging has enormous effects on oral health, and it’s often necessary to reaffirm oral hygiene habits with aging family members. Bear all these points in mind, and call our office if you have any questions! It’s our pleasure to serve our community of every age.

Top 5 Ways to Celebrate Getting Braces Off

Braces can be worth celebrating when you get them glued on. Maintenance though they’ll require, you know that these little miracles are designed to help you align your smile. But whatever the initial excitement, after a couple of months you start dreaming of the moment where you’ll have them taken off—as much to see your straightened smile, as to do away with the uncomfortable metal contraption you’ve just committed to. 

 

The moment when you get your braces off is a major milestone, and for good reason. When the time comes, you prepare for a newfound sense of confidence in your smile, and for the prospect of eating absolutely whatever you want without worrying about picking it out of braces later. Just think about the last time you chowed down on raw nuts without finding pieces the next morning. And you can fearlessly welcome back chewing gum, too! This is your day. 

 Finally the braces come off!

Celebrating the removal of braces is totally reasonable, both ahead of time and after the fact. You can imagine the smiles that will ensue as soon as your braces are removed, but we do have some other, more deliberate celebration ideas for you to consider: 

 

  1. Throw a party

    It’s time to show off the results of months (or years) of wearing braces. The last time your friends saw you smiling without the wires, your teeth were…well, less straight—and now, you can smile, laugh and make merry over a few cold ones with friends or family.

    The party can be a “just because” event, or you can come out and say it’s in celebration for your braces removal. In the latter, you can even buy a special guestbook and ask your friends to write down comments about you with and without braces—stories, memories, observations. Whatever!

  2. The new you” deserves lots of selfies

    Removing your braces is a Hallmark change in your appearance, so why not present your new braces-free smile to your social media friends and followers? Take a selfie, or go all-out and schedule a shoot ahead of time with a professional photographer.

  3. Buy ALL THE CHEWING GUM!

    OK—we still recommend you stick to sugar-free chewing choices, but this is still a celebration to be had. The freedom to stockpile some fresh or fruity flavors and make up for months or years of lost bubble-blowing is something that we can all enjoy, no matter our age. Start with favorite flavors, or go crazy with new flavors that have come into vogue since your departure from braces-free chewing.

  4. Take a moment to journal the day-to-day of wearing braces

    You might think we’re crazy—the memory is so fresh in your mind, and you’re so thrilled to be done with them, why would you want to list the nuisance of the contraption that caused you so much pain, adjustment after adjustment?

    Braces have been compared more than once to a larger metaphor of life. Of all the things we do…it’s the worthwhile stuff that’s usually a little painful along the way. Take a moment to jot down some of the things that defined your experience with braces, because in the future you might benefit from the memory of what a battle worth fighting feels like in the heat of it all.

    And, much though you’d like to (and probably will) forget the minutia of the day-to-day of braces, it can be interesting to look back on these details later—most patients say that their braces defined much of their image for the time that they had them.

  5. Treat yourself with just about anything else that inspires your newfound smile

    Take a short trip out of town, go to the spa, or go out to eat something that you wouldn’t have otherwise. Whatever floats your boat—you’ve earned it. 

Adventures In Dallas: You’ve probably never…

Do you ever get the feeling that you have done everything there is to do in Dallas? Well, you might not be thinking creatively enough. Dallas is full of adrenaline-pumping and awe-inspiring activities that are waiting to be discovered. Set aside a weekend, or just a couple of hours to explore the hidden gems Dallas has to offer. And we promise, the Netflix show you were binging on will still be there when you get back. 

 Wings Over Dallas 2017

Indoor Skydiving 

 

If jumping out of a perfectly good plane seems un-doable, but you still seek the rush of free falling, check out iFLY for indoor skydiving. Using a vertical wind tunnel, jumpers will experience the sensation of jumping out of a plane—without actually having to jump! These wind tunnels give amateurs and professionals a consistent and practical way to hone their sky diving skills.  

 

With introduction classes targeting beginners, there’s no reason to not try it out. Love it and can’t get enough? Consider competing in local competitions in either solo or formation flying! 

 

Need for Speed 

 

If you have a need for speed, you won’t earn any racing stripes on I-35. Instead, drive (the speed limit) over to the Texas Motor Speedway and sign up for racing school! Team Texas is the NASCAR Cup Driving School that operates year-round at the speedway. 

 

Students can choose to practice one-on-one or in a class setting. Once on the track, you can race against your fellow classmates and leave the slower drivers in the dust as your hit speeds of up to 150 mph. If you don’t want to take the wheel, then sign up for a ride along where you will be paired with a professional driver and complete up to ten laps. Don’t hit the breaks and miss this opportunity! 

 

Fly Away—Wings Over Dallas 

 

Sitting in the cockpit of a World War II plane while flying over the Dallas sky is no longer reserved only for those that have their wings. This October, Wings Over Dallas will be at the Dallas Executive Airport and will offer plane enthusiasts the opportunity to co-pilot fighter plans, biplanes, and open-air cockpit planes that were used during World War II. Led by the Commemorative Air Force (CAF), Wings Over Dallas is a three-day family-friendly event that meshes history with adventure. In addition to taking to the skies, participants can meet World War II veterans, take place in historical reenactments, and tour authentic military vehicles.  

 

Drive-In 

 

If the thrill and adventure seeking has caused you to want to unwind, then check out the Coyote Canteen. Taking its cues from the traditional drive-in movies of the 50’s, the Coyote Canteen offers a modern twist on this nostalgic pastime. Boasting five screens and an extensive food and drink menu, this drive-in theater will be a beloved outing for all members of the family the minute you arrive. The screens show first-run movies, and in total can fit about 1,500 cars. It is encouraged to bring lounge chairs, blankets and pillows to ensure your experience is as comfortable as it can be. And don’t forget to turn off your car lights, so everyone can enjoy the show! 

 

Dallas is filled with activities for everyone from the thrill-seeker to the movie buff and everything in between. Take time this fall to explore and then tell your friends, “I bet you have never done this before!”