You might think that insecurity about your smile has a minor impact on your life. All you do is avoid smiling or hide your smile when necessary, and deal with the stress of the situation. But the stress-oriented-behavior (SOB, appropriately) model suggests that you could actually be suffering more than you think as a result of your unattractive smile.

Cosmetic dentistry can help you turn around your attitude to have healthier, more positive interactions.

woman hiding with her hands covering her face

How SOB Alters Your Mindset

In the SOB model, the impact of stress isn’t limited to the immediate concern of the problem. Instead, it triggers an entire wave of changes in the brain, including the way your brain processes information and makes decisions.

When you enter a stressful situation, such as when you are engaged in social interactions where smiling is expected, but you feel uncomfortable about your smile, your brain changes the way it functions. You set up a series of psychological defense mechanisms that can limit or distort your perception of social situations.

Some common responses in these stressful situations include emotional instability, impulsivity, negativity, aggressiveness, egotism, and a lack of empathy. You are trying to protect yourself emotionally by being extra assertive, even insultingly so.

SOB can make it hard for you to work together in a team with others, can make it hard for you to focus on your work, and even make it much more difficult for you to learn new ideas and information.

When you’re participating in SOB, your brain has shut down higher brain centers. Empathic behavior is suppressed in favor of selfish behavior, damaging your relationships with others.

In SOB, you have a hard time focusing on the work at hand because you’re looking out for the next threat.

And with your higher brain centers shut down, you are not able to think creatively, clearly, or intelligently during stressful situations, which makes it hard for you to take in new ideas or apply them.

Your brain is also less open to positive emotions, such as enjoying your work, having a good time with friends, or appreciating your life as it is.

The key mechanism behind the development of SOB is insecurity, which can include insecurity about the appearance of your smile.

Security about Your Smile Is a Foundation of Healthy Mind

On the other hand, if you can feel comfortable and confident in your smile, you might be more likely to enjoy what is known as a balanced empathic behavior (BEB), which focuses on how everyone can get the most out of situation, including you. This BEB is a strong foundation on which to build not only positive relationships, but also to increase your skills and knowledge. It helps you respond in a healthy way to obstacles and challenges.

If you’re tired of responding with fear to every social situation and want to stop getting so defensive about even reasonable personal exchanges, then a smile makeover might be just what you’re looking for.

To learn more about smile makeovers and the potential emotional benefits, please call (910) 392-6060 for an appointment with Wilmington, NC cosmetic dentist Michael L. Kuzma today.