There’s Power Behind Your Pearly Whites: The Fascinating Psychology of the Human Smile

Smiling is often considered to be a universally-recognized expression across the globe, regardless of culture. Signifying happiness and joy, smiling (unless faked and non-genuine) is regarded as highly positive for both the wearer and receiver, suggesting a deeper psychological foundation of science.

Featuring a combination of movement by the mouth, cheeks and eyes, there are varying types of smile that can signal different thoughts, feelings and inner emotions from the individual to those around them. Especially powerful when paired with a flawless set of pearly whites, one single smile can produce more natural psychological effects than you would have ever

The science of smiling

Origins of the ‘science of smiling’ date all the way back to the 1800’s: the era of Charles Darwin. As the first scientific figure to properly investigate why humans smile, and the benefits associated with smiling, Darwin concluded that the actual expression of smiling likely originated from apes.

It’s been found that, amongst primates such as chimpanzees, a ‘bared teeth’ expression is shown by inferior members of a group towards the most dominant member. This strongly suggests that such an expression demonstrates peace and a lack of hostility, resulting in harmony among all members of the group regardless of status.

Furthermore, research has also seen the exact same expression occurring between equals, often followed by an embrace or other affectionate gesture. These were the first tangible signs of a basic smile, likely to have been passed down via evolution to result in the naturally-occurring smiles we see today.

Can smiling increase overall happiness and form better relationships?

As a smile is often accompanied by laughter, it makes sense to assume that smiling represents an individual’s happiness and joy at that given moment. In fact, studies have shown that the more someone smiles and laughs, the more happiness-inducing hormones (i.e. serotonin and dopamine) are released in the brain.

This creates a positive feedback ‘loop’, resulting in long-term psychological effects of feeling good and wanting to smile more. This can improve almost every aspect of a person’s life, and has been shown to significantly increase productivity in the workplace.

In addition to happiness, smiling can also help us to connect with others and form better relationships. In fact, people who can’t physically smile or who choose not to smile have been shown to find social situations and forming relationships much more challenging. People with bad, discoloured teeth often have extremely low confidence, reducing their overall happiness and desire to smile. However, there are many simple solutions, such as home-based teeth whitening, that can boost confidence and eliminate any worries associated with smiling. Take a look at this site to discover more.

Smiling clearly has both scientific and psychological benefits that are likely to be having a profound effect on your daily life and overall happiness – without you even realizing! But if showing off your smile is intimidating, rest-assured there are plenty of inexpensive methods you can try at home to restore your pearly whites.

Georgina Hammond is a Mom with a recently achieved psychology degree. She strives for self improvement, both mentally and in her appearance and health. Her articles appear on lifestyle, wellness and mommy blogs.


Image courtesy of [stockimages] at

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