“Laughter is the Best Medicine”….But Why?

Everyone has heard the quote “Laughter is the best medicine.”  But perhaps you’ve never thought about it scientifically.  Studies have proven tremendous benefits to smiling, and even show that people who smile more are perceived as friendlier, more confident, and more successful.  Here are our top ten scientific smile facts provided by Laughter Online University .


  1. Simulating a genuine smile can boost your mood: Psychologists have found that even if you’re in bad mood, you can instantly lift your spirits by simulating (not fake, but choose to engage in)  a genuine smile.
  2. Smiles Relieve Stress: Your body immediately releases endorphins when you smile, even when you force it. This sudden change in mood will help you feel better and release stress.
  3. Women smile more than men: Generally, women smile more than men, but when they participate in similar work or social roles, they smile the same amount. This finding leads scientists to believe that gender roles are quite flexible. Boy babies, though, do smile less than girl babies, who also make more eye contact.
  4. There are 19 different types of smiles: UC-San Francisco researcher identified 19 types of smiles and put them into two categories: polite “social” smiles which engage fewer muscles, and sincere “felt” smiles that use more muscles on both sides of the face.
  5. Smiles use from 5 to 53 facial muscles: Just smiling can require your body to use up to 53 muscles, but some smiles only use 5 muscle movements.
  6. Babies are born with the ability to smile: Babies learn a lot of behaviors and sounds from watching the people around them, but scientists believe that all babies are born with the ability, since even blind babies smile.
  7. Smiles are the most easily recognizable facial expression: People can recognize smiles from up to 300 feet away, making it the most easily recognizable facial expression.
  8. Smiling helps you get promoted: Smiles make a person seem more attractive, sociable and confident, and people who smile more are more likely to get a promotion.
  9. It’s a universal sign of happiness: While hand shakes, hugs, and bows all have varying meanings across cultures, smiling is known around the world and in all cultures as a sign of happiness and acceptance.
  10. Smiles are more attractive than makeup: A research study conducted by Orbit Complete discovered that 69% of people find women more attractive when they smile than when they are wearing makeup.

All these positive effects of smiling means that everyone should have a smile they’re proud to show.  By enhancing smiles with porcelain veneers, bonding, teeth whitening and other cosmetic dental treatments, Manhattan dentist Dr. Layne Martin enables patients to confidently show their smile.  If you’re ready to smile more, contact Dr. Martin today for a smile consultation.

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