In the last few decades the dental profession has evolved rapidly. Especially in developed countries like the United States with a high degree of oral hygiene awareness (nearly half of Americans visit the dentist regularly) modern dentistry is as much about preserving and/or improving oral function as it is concerned with the aesthetics of a beautiful mouth.
That’s because a gingivitis and cavity-free mouth isn’t the only measure of true oral health. Imperfections like crooked teeth, stained teeth, speech pathologies, gaps between teeth and bite issues can all add up to make a patient feel self conscious about the inside of their mouth. In fact, studies have repeatedly shown that genuine smiles (there are fake ones out there too that use difference muscles) can improve overall happiness, reduce stress levels, lower blood pressure, and may even contribute to a longer life.
Smiling is also infectious – pardon the pun!
When a person sees another individual smile, their innate reaction is to mimic the action. As social beings, humans crave being part of the “in” group. And an engaging, disarming smile is a biological response to accomplish that goal.