Everything You Need to Know About Smiles: From Science to Dating

by Tara Price

25th May, 2023

Everything You Need to Know About Smiles: From Science to Dating

Smiling is one of the most universal and powerful expressions of human emotion. But how much do you really know about smiles? In this article, we’ll explore some of the fascinating facts, benefits, and tips about smiles that will make you smile more often and more effectively.

Whether you want to improve your health, happiness, relationships, or dating success, smiling can help you achieve your goals.

Here are some of the topics we will cover:

  • What are the benefits of smiling?
  • How many types of smiles are there?
  • How many muscles does it take to smile?
  • How often do people smile?
  • Can animals smile?
  • What is the science behind smiling?
  • What is the history of smiling?
  • What are some tips for improving your smile?
  • What are some myths about smiling?
  • What is the smile dating test?

What are the benefits of smiling?

Smiling has many benefits for your physical and mental health, as well as your social and professional lives.

Some benefits of smiling include:

  • Smiling can make you look younger, thinner, and more attractive.
  • Smiling can elevate your mood and create a sense of well-being by releasing endorphins, dopamine, and serotonin in your brain.
  • Smiling can induce more pleasure in the brain than chocolate, according to a study by the British Dental Health Foundation.
  • Smiling can reduce stress, lower blood pressure and heart rate, and boost your immune system.
  • Smiling can make you seem more courteous, likeable, and competent, increasing your chances of getting a positive response from others.
  • Smiling can predict fulfilment in marriage, as a study by DePauw University found that people who smiled more in their childhood photos were more likely to have a happy marriage later in life.

How many types of smiles are there?

There are many ways to classify smiles, but one of the most widely used systems is based on the work of French neurologist Guillaume Duchenne. He distinguished two types of smiles:

  • Duchenne smile: This is a genuine smile that involves both the mouth and the eyes. The mouth curves upward, and the eyes crinkle at the corners, creating crow’s feet wrinkles. This smile reflects true happiness and positive emotion.
  • Non-Duchenne smile: This is a fake or polite smile that only involves the mouth. The mouth curves upward, but the eyes remain unchanged. This smile does not reflect genuine emotion and can be used to mask negative feelings or deceive others.

Other researchers have identified more types of smiles based on their function and meaning, such as:

  • Reward smile: This smile conveys approval, happiness, contentment, and other positive feelings.
  • Affiliation smile: This smile communicates positive intention, trustworthiness, belongingness, compassion, and social connection.
  • Dominance smile: This smile expresses contempt, disgust, or superiority. It can increase cortisol levels in people who receive it and make them feel stressed or threatened.

How many muscles does it take to smile?

The answer to this question depends on how you define a smile and what muscles you count. One estimate says it takes about 12 muscles to produce a Duchenne smile and about 10 muscles to produce a non-Duchenne smile. However, other sources claim that it takes more or fewer muscles, depending on the type and intensity of the smile.

How often do people smile?

Many factors affect how often people smile, such as age, gender, culture, personality, and mood. According to some studies, the average person smiles about 20 times a day, while happy people smile about 45 times a day. Children tend to smile more than adults; women tend to smile more than men; and people from warmer climates tend to smile more than people from colder climates.

Can animals smile?

Some animals may seem to smile by showing their teeth or curling their lips, but this does not necessarily mean that they are expressing happiness or positive emotion. In fact, some animals may show their teeth as a sign of aggression or fear. However, some researchers have suggested that some animals may have evolved facial expressions that resemble human smiles as a way of communicating with humans or other animals. For example, dogs may use a submissive grin to show appeasement or affection to their owners or other dogs.

What is the science behind smiling?

Smiling is a complex phenomenon that involves multiple brain regions, nerves, and muscles. When something makes you happy or amused, your brain activates the reward system, which releases neurotransmitters such as dopamine and serotonin. These chemicals stimulate the facial nerve that controls the muscles of your face. Depending on the type and intensity of your emotion, different muscles will contract or relax to produce different types of smiles.

What is the history of smiling?

Cultural norms and values have also influenced smiling throughout history. For example, in ancient times, smiling was often associated with foolishness or immorality. In mediaeval times, smiling was rare and reserved for special occasions or intimate relationships. In modern times, smiling has become more common and expected in various contexts, such as photography, advertising, customer service, etc.

What are some tips for improving your smile?

To have a more attractive and confident smile, here are some tips:

  • Practise good oral hygiene: Brush your teeth twice a day, floss daily, and visit your dentist regularly. This will help you prevent tooth decay, gum disease, bad breath, etc. that can ruin your smile.
  • Whiten your teeth: If your teeth are stained or discoloured due to smoking, drinking coffee or tea, etc., you can try whitening them with over-the-counter products or professional treatments. This will make your smile brighter and more appealing.
  • Straighten your teeth: If your teeth are crooked or misaligned due to genetics, injury, etc., you can consider orthodontic treatment such as braces or clear aligners. This will improve your bite function, appearance, etc.
  • Smile with your eyes: As mentioned earlier, a genuine smile involves not only your mouth but also your eyes. To make your smile more authentic and convincing, try to engage your eye muscles when you smile.
  • Smile moderately: While smiling is good for you and others, too much smiling can have negative effects such as making you seem insincere, nervous, creepy, etc. Try to balance your smiling with other facial expressions and match your smiling to the context and tone of the conversation.

What are some myths about smiling?

Some myths and misconceptions about smiling lack scientific evidence or logic. Some examples are:

  • It takes more muscles to frown than to smile: This myth is based on the assumption that frowning is harder than smiling because it reflects negative emotion. However, as explained earlier, there is no definitive answer to how many muscles it takes to produce different facial expressions.
  • Smiling makes you live longer: This myth is based on the idea that smiling reduces stress and improves health, which leads to longevity. However, while there may be some correlation between happiness and lifespan, there is no causal evidence that smiling alone can extend your life.
  • Smiling is universal: This myth is based on the notion that smiling means the same thing across all cultures and contexts. However, while smiling may be a common expression of human emotion, it can also have different meanings depending on various factors such as culture, situation, relationship, intention, etc.

What is the smile dating test?

The smile dating test is a fun and easy way to find out what kind of smile suits you best and how to use it effectively in dating scenarios. The test will ask you some questions about your personality, preferences, dating style, etc. Then, it will show you some examples of different smiles. You will have to choose the one that matches your mood, intention, etc. The test will also give you some feedback on how your smile can affect others, what it reveals about you, etc. The test can help you improve your dating experience by making you more attractive, confident, likeable, etc. To take the test, click here.

Smiling is one of the easiest and most effective ways to improve your life in many aspects. It can make you look better, feel better, and relate better to others. It can also help you find your perfect match with the Smile Dating Test. So go ahead and smile more often and more effectively. The final results will surprise you.

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