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A Good Smile Has Many Positive Effects. The Science Behind it

February 12, 2018
Posted By: Dr. Russell D. Mann
Close up of boy's smile

We all know that having a good smile can make you feel more confident and increase your self-esteem. But did you know that these effects aren’t just in your head? There’s actually a science behind what goes into a good smile and why it makes you feel so good. By learning more about how it all works, you can maximize your appearance and happiness all because of your sparkling grin.

Smiling Produces Endorphins

When you have a good smile, you tend to show it off more. Luckily, smiling has numerous benefits for your mental health. The act of smiling uses the zygomaticus major and orbicularis oculi muscles. The harder these muscles work when you’re giggling and beaming, the more endorphins your body will produce.

Endorphins are a hormone released in the brain that produces feelings of pleasure. Each time you crack a grin, the release of these chemicals triggers a signal back to your facial muscles, basically congratulating them for being happy. That’s why humans smile when they’re happy – it’s a loop of happy energy running from your brain to your mouth.

How Important is Smiling?

Keeping in mind that smiling provides a legitimate boost in happiness, just how does it correlate to other happy events? Scientists estimate that a single big smile provides similar levels of happiness as receiving 2,000 chocolate bars or $22,000. With that much power, there’s no reason not to crack a grin whenever you’re feeling joyous.

So What Makes the Perfect Smile?

Everyone’s smile is different, and that’s ok. However, human beings have developed a preferred look and style for the smile. One new study used 3D faces to identify which features of a smile are most appealing.

Overall, the results were slightly surprising. The group divided smiles into two categories: people with larger mouths and people with smaller mouths. To look the most appealing, people with big mouths should show as many teeth as possible when grinning. Additionally, they should try to keep a wider angle between their top and bottom lips at the corner. However, people with smaller mouths should consider smiling with their mouth closed, especially if they grin doesn’t turn up at the corners.

However, one thing the study was clear on – there’s no recognizable “perfect grin.” Instead, everyone can have a beautiful smile as long as they work with what they’ve got.

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