Question: What do dentists call the x-rays they take of patients’ teeth?
Answer: Tooth pics
Hopefully, that made you laugh?
Well, we admit the joke is a little cheesy, but we couldn’t be more serious about the importance of laughter to your health. Whether you’re guffawing at the latest Netflix special or giggling with friends at work, laughing does you good. It’s a great form of stress relief, and it can ultimately have positive effects on your oral and overall health.
Question: What do fish get stressed about?
Answer: Current events.
Stress can be bad news for your oral and overall health.
“Stress is very tightly linked to oral health because so many people have a tooth clenching response to stress,” says Dr. Jessica Buehler, Delta Dental’s Director of Dental Affairs. “When we put unnecessary pressure on our teeth, it leads to micro-cracks that can turn into bigger cracks. The effects of stress on the mouth are extremely detrimental.”
A good laugh, on the other hand, helps reduce your cortisol levels. Laughing activates and then cools down your stress response, leaving you with a relaxed feeling and less tension. Laughter also stimulates circulation and helps relax your muscles, leading to an overall reduction in symptoms of stress.
“There’s an actual release of hormones in your brain when you smile,” says Dr. Buehler. “It becomes most obvious how important smiling and laughing are when you have a patient who hasn’t been smiling or alters their smile to cover something. Instead of coming from a place of gratitude and joy, people deflect into this guarded, protective position. It’s not healthy for them.”
Question: What did the dentist say when Tiger Woods came in for an appointment?
Answer: You have a hole in one.
Laughing isn’t just good at reducing stress, it can actually act as a mild workout. Like exercise, laughter burns calories, and your body even changes when you laugh. You stretch muscles throughout your face and body, and you breathe faster, stimulating your heart and lungs and sending more oxygen to your tissues. Like exercise, laughter increases endorphins in the brain.
While we don’t recommend ditching the treadmill to watch sitcoms instead, it’s important to understand how laughter stimulates the body and how a daily dose can help you maintain your overall health and sense of well-being.
Question: What does a dentist give a bear with a terrible toothache?
Answer: Anything it wants.
Ever notice how you always seem to catch a cold at the worst possible time? Stress can affect your body by weakening your immune system, making you more vulnerable to getting sick. Laughter and positive thoughts, on the other hand, can actually help fight stress, potentially reducing the risks of more-serious illnesses.
Laughter may also ease pain by causing the body to produce its own natural painkillers. Some research even shows that laughter can increase pain tolerance, and the researchers even suggested using humor therapy as a method of health maintenance.
Question: What award does the Dentist of the Year get?
Answer: A little plaque.
Everyone loves a good laugh, and it’s good for you, too. Here are a few tips to keep you laughing, even when times get stressful:
Jessica Saurino Buehler, DDS, earned her doctorate degree from the University of Colorado School of Dental Medicine and then completed a General Practice Residency at University of Washington Medical Center. She is especially passionate about teaching patients and community members about the science behind oral health. In her non-working life, Jessica is an outdoor enthusiast and loves to travel with her husband and children.
Last updated March 14, 2023
The oral health information on this website is intended for educational purposes only. Always consult a licensed dentist or other qualified health care professional for any questions concerning your oral health.