The Benefits of a Smile

The true Duchenne smile is associated with giddy happiness and genuine pleasure. It’s long and involves the contraction of two muscles: zygomatic major and orbicularis oculi. The resulting twinkling eyes are a hallmark of a genuine smile. Unlike the false Duchenne smile, however, the perception of a genuine smile is unaffected by crow’s feet or other visible facial expressions.

In the seventeenth century, a genuine smile was not always embraced by society. In some parts of Europe, the public was forbidden to show emotion by showing their teeth. Only the poor would smile openly. In France, however, nobles wore their teeth as a means of enjoying newly opened coffee houses. While the French public deemed the smile unacceptable, the elite were happy to show it to their social circles, enabling them to socialize and express their emotions in a way that betrayed the class divide.

In one study of 72 people watching the movie Steel Magnolias, Barbara Fredrickson observed the way their faces changed during the film. Fifty of these individuals showed smiles at least once, and those who did smile recovered from their baseline cardiovascular levels more quickly than the other participants. The researchers concluded that a smile could be a reliable indicator of altruistic intent. A genuine smile can tell a person’s true intentions. However, it may also be the result of a distorted perception of reality.

Psychological scientists have linked happiness with longevity. Earlier, researchers believed that a smile was related to the likelihood of a person living longer. Researchers who studied a group of professional baseball players in a 1952 yearbook found that their smiles were associated with their age at death. Their findings showed that smile intensity explained nearly 35 percent of the variance in survival rates, with players who had a Duchenne smile being half as likely to die. This is just one of the numerous findings of the benefits of a smile.

A similar experiment was conducted to examine the effect of gender on the likelihood of smiling in public. When male observers were placed in pairs with a woman, their smiles were less likely to be congruent, while those who were placed in pairs with a man were more likely to smile. Despite this effect, males were still less likely to smile compared to female observers. This result is not surprising if men are more reticent to smile when they interact with other men.

However, before choosing the most appropriate method, you should consider your specific circumstances and the issue you are trying to solve. It’s important to consider the extent of misalignment in your mouth and whether it can be corrected using aligners. If you have an open bite, you’ll want to make sure the treatment you choose will correct the problem you’re experiencing. If you’re looking for a solution to a serious misalignment, you’ll want to choose Invisalign.

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