Everyone smiles. But, not everyone smiles the same. Here are 5 facts about smiling that may leave you, well, smiling, too.
1. Babies Are Born Able To Smile. It may have happened to you. That first little smile and your mother or mother-in-law said, “It’s just gas.” They may be right. It takes 53 muscles to smile and babies are born able to make all those muscles work, but most doctors believe the first real smile comes somewhere between four and six weeks. Interestingly, even blind babies smile.
2. Smiling Is Not Universal. America and Japan are often selected for smiling studies because the American belief in the joy and meaning of a smile may be described as “over the top” and the Japanese fall at the other end of the spectrum. In Japan, humility and stoicism is valued. They aren’t as likely to communicate emotion with a smile, but a Japanese person may smile to cover anger, sadness or embarrassment.
3. Immigration May Be A Factor. Countries such as the USA and Canada who have had high levels of immigration tend to be more “smiley”. It could be because they relied more on visual clues to a person’s emotion than on spoken clues – since the spoken language could be one other than their own.
4. Culture May Reign Over Smiles. Think of a happy bride and you’re probably picturing a huge grin. True in America but Indian brides are married with a more serious expression. Why? Shyness in a woman is valued over the outgoing personality Americans love. However, as Indian women are being given the opportunity to be more assertive, more smiles are evident.
5. The Smile Is Part Of International Relations. Russians only smile to genuinely express a great mood or a high regard for the person they’re smiling at. They even have a proverb that says “to smile/laugh without reason is a sign of idiocy.” Maybe that’s why the Cold War lasted so long. The chopstick played a role in smiling before the Beijing Olympics with Olympic stewards being told to clench a chopstick between their teeth to build up their smile muscles so they could be more welcoming to visitors.
Smiling is an important part of both our culture and our everyday lives. So, get a grin. One of the wonders of modern dentistry is they can fix your smile. Crooked teeth? There are braces – even invisible ones. Missing tooth? There’s an implant for that. Your dentist can make your smile more beautiful with crowns, caps and veneers as well as just whitening your own beautiful teeth. So, if you’re worried about your smile – see your full-service dental office and start grinning!