Laughter is the sun that drives winter from the human face.
— Victor Hugo
A smile is the light in the window of your face that tells people you’re at home.  ~Author Unknown
Every time you smile at someone, it is an action of love, a gift to that person, a beautiful thing.
— Mother Teresa

After seventy years, my husband’s uncle presented himself as a new man. Still the soulful, joyful man who always exuded warmth, his smile now reaches from his head to his toes. After decades of incredibly crooked teeth, he invested in having all of his teeth fixed.

I spoke with our family friend orthodontist yesterday about this, and he used the verb, “haunted.” It was a powerful description, but remembering myself and how I felt in 8th grade, I’d say this is an accurate portrayal.

Paging through weathered scrapbooks, it’s impossible to find one smiling picture, where my teeth show, from approximately 1st grade, through 8th grade. As adult teeth generally grow down (yes, gravity is a great thing), my front tooth protruded past my lips, and that’s an understatement.  Even pressing my lips together when I smiled revealed the abnormality. Lest you think my childhood memories expand with time,  my three older brothers actually gave me a ceramic mold of gorilla teeth one year. By wrapping it up as a beautiful present, and then declaring the orthodontist gave them the cast of my teeth as a keepsake, they thought their prank rather hysterical.  (Don’t worry, no detrimental emotional scarring occurred. Boys will be boys, albeit mean boys sometimes.)

With our eleven year old daughter now patiently awaiting her Invisalign treatment, I’m attempting to reiterate the importance of smiling. Even though she’s self conscious about her teeth, there are so many benefits to sharing a warm smile. Not only does smiling contribute greatly to someone’s first impression of you, it also completely changes your mood. It’s not just about choosing joy, to offset negativity, but did you know studies show that smiling three times in succession releases happy hormones, such as  serotonin and endorphin  from your brain? It also reduces stress, which lowers blood pressure, not to mention smiling takes years off ones appearance.

Who couldn’t be drawn to this perfectly imperfect smile?

Sure, a few teeth poke out here and there, but desiring to instill confidence, assuring her of the beauty within, regardless of appearances, is my goal. Once her teeth have been straightened, it will just be icing on the cake.

SmileOne of my favorite companies to work with, Invisalign Teen, is bringing an unbelievable contest to you about the importance of instilling confidence in children. Invisalign Teen is offering the chance for one lucky mom to win a new smile for her child. Yes, a full Invisalign treatment worth $5500.  How amazing is that? Click here and go to Blissfully Domestic to enter.