What’s In a Smile?

The smile is the window to the soul; it puts us at ease when we see people smile. Freely offered, no means of expression has the ability to make a complete stranger feel better or more compelled to return the favor. Smiles know no language barriers, no demarcations of race, gender, or class. It’s the one thing that is truly universal among humans. In any social interaction, professional or personal, people will intuitively gravitate towards those of us who smile.

Posted on | Jonathan B. Levine, DMD | Comments ()

The smile is the window to the soul; it puts us at ease when we see people smile. Freely offered, no means of expression has the ability to make a complete stranger feel better or more compelled to return the favor.  Smiles know no language barriers, no demarcations of race, gender, or class. It’s the one thing that is truly universal among humans. In any social interaction, professional or personal, people will intuitively gravitate towards those of us who smile.

It’s an emotional currency whose value can never be measured and when all else fails, we will still have our smile. A smile has power – it can actually increase serotonin for both the giver and the receiver. A smile exudes confidence. Studies have shown that a white, aligned smile signals that someone is healthy, smart and financially secure. Smiles are also associated with youth. Babies smile an average of 200 times a day. The average woman smiles 62 times a day and the average man only 8. One could argue that babies don’t have to worry about their careers and mortgages and have people tending to their every need. I bet you are thinking – I would smile more too if that were my situation!

The point is that if you have ever watched a grown up interact with a baby, they do incredibly silly things – they poke them, tickle them, make funny faces and do just about anything to get that baby to keep smiling. But they also smile back. Why? Because there is an intimate freedom we feel in our soul during that interaction.


So instead of thinking of your smile as something permanent, think of it as a work in progress. There are many things you can do to have brighter, more perfectly aligned teeth. If you feel more confident about your smile you will likely use it more.

Here is a secret: Most of the perfect celebrity smiles that you see on TV and in magazines are the result of several smile enhancing efforts by dentists. Plenty of whitening and straightening have resulted in these personalities permeating our lives with their smiles – and the result is that everyone wants to see more of them. Good dentistry should be invisible. If you have good procedures done then they should look completely natural with no one really knowing that any work was done. The right dental professional knows this and will discuss it with you.

Also, the right smile enhancing procedures should not stray too dramatically from the smile you were born with. The more different it looks, the less it’s “yours.” One of the things so great about a smile is its individuality. With the strides in recent technology and the advancements in oral care, it’s important you understand a great smile is available at any age.

All of these options are available to you also. But don’t think of it as celebrity emulation. Think of it as finding your epicenter of beauty. Think of it as an investment in the emotion behind the smile – the happiness a smile indicates. Smiles cause a chain reaction – once you start smiling more, the people you smile at will also, and so on and so on. 

Soon, there will be a lot more smiles to go around. But it starts with you making an appointment to see your dentist!

Blog written by Jonathan B. Levine, DMD
Dr. Jonathan B. Levine is a world-renowned dentist and prosthodontist recognized as an authority on restorative dentistry. He's...