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Orthodontics Can Change Lives

Alley-Smile-New

When people think of orthodontic treatment, they probably conjure up an image of a teen or pre-teen with a mouth full of metal. But what happens to that teen when the braces are removed?

“Every day in our office is fun, but the day a patient gets his or her braces removed is always an exceptional day,” says orthodontist Dr. Michael Stosich. “For many patients, braces have come at an already awkward and uncomfortable time. They may have avoided smiling before, because they were embarrassed by crooked, crowded or oddly spaced teeth. But after treatment, they can’t stop smiling, and neither can we.”

Orthodontics doesn’t just transform smiles, it can transform lives. Below is just one of the many smile stories Dr. Stosich and his team have received after providing braces treatment.

“Dear Dr. Stosich
I just wanted to take a moment and thank you again! Back in 2011 you took my daughter on as a Smiles Change Lives patient and it truly, truly did change her life! I believe thanks to you she gained so much confidence in herself that she joined the Debate team, speech and High School Newspaper! She also started doing YouTube fashion tutorials and from that she was asked to write in an up and coming teen fashion magazine! She will be graduating from High School in a couple weeks with honors and going onto Valparaiso University on a Journalism Scholarship! She has blossomed into an amazing outgoing young adult and I cannot wait to see where she goes! I thank you with all my heart for giving her the ability to be her true self without holding back! We will forever be grateful!”

Smiling has the power to change your life, and psychologists and researchers who have studied the science behind smiling agree. Research shows that those we encounter find people who smile more attractive and more approachable than those who don’t. And those who smile often are more content and successful than those who don’t.

But that’s not all a smile can do. A 2008 study found that people who smiled through pain actually had a higher pain tolerance than those who frowned or maintained a neutral expression. Smiling also increases your body’s production of HGH, with is the growth hormone responsible for strengthening your immune system. Smiling more often can increase your body’s production of HGH by as much as 87 percent. This in turn can lower your body’s stress and inflammatory reaction, increase your good cholesterol levels, and make your body overall healthier.

One interesting study performed by the University of Kansas found that even a fake smile, one where participants had their mouths forced into a smile position by chopsticks, reduced stress levels, minimized negative emotions, and lowered pain levels.

Other studies have shown that while we often associate a smile with a feeling of joy, smiling more often can actually trick our bodies into feeling happy.

“Seeing a patient who was embarrassed to smile look at their new smile in the mirror after their braces come off is so amazing,” says Dr. Stosich. “Every day, I see the power a smile can have to improve patients’ lives, and I am so grateful for the ability to be able to help patients transform their lives and regain their confidence.”

Dr. Stosich believes that every child deserves the ability to transform their lives through the science of orthodontics. Because of this, he dedicates his skills to serving underprivileged and underserved children.

Philosopher Thích Nhất Hạnh said it best: “Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.”

Dr. Stosich and his team at iDentity Orthodontics see this reality every day.

AUTHOR: Michael Stosich

Michael S. Stosich, DMD, MS, MS, is a specialist orthodontist for children and adults with subspecialty expertise in robotically assisted orthodontics. Dr. Stosich serves as the orthodontic director at the University of Chicago's cleft lip and palate clinic and craniofacial anomalies clinic, which treats complex pediatric craniofacial anomalies.