No two ways about it, the smile is as an integral part of our society. Don’t believe us? Try not smiling at a casual acquaintance in a lift or as you pass in the street. It’s not only nigh-on impossible, but you’ll also gain a dirty reputation. Which just hints at how important the smile is in keeping the peace among us all.
In fact, so ubiquitous is the smile that you may be forgiven for thinking that it’s something that’s always been with us – just crank up the corners of your mouth, flash a bit of tooth and voila, right? Well, it may surprise you to learn that, actually, there’s some real history behind the evolution of the smile.
Of course, there’s no way of actually proving the origin of the smile, but researchers reckon they’ve got a pretty good steer on it. Many in the science world believe that the smile first began as a sort of ‘fear grin’ in monkeys and apes. The whole purpose of that grin, with its barely clenched teeth, was to show potential rivals and enemies that they were harmless. It’s the facial equivalent of holding up two empty hands to show no weapons; no threat. Although others have cast doubt upon the claim, saying that since babies know how to smile from birth it must be ingrained, not learned.
However it started, the smile has been with us since time immemorial. Well, sort of. It certainly wasn’t as well-received as it is today, that’s for sure. Throughout most of history, given the rotten oral hygiene, smiling was in fact frowned upon, and seen as something only the lower classes did. It was a sign of bad manners to smile. After all, to smile was to reveal to the world just how yellow or black your teeth were. It was only in 18th century France that these rules started to be relaxed, allowing a freer society more accepting of natural human reactions.
The real power of the smile is that it has tons of benefits for society as a whole. It can show attraction, highlight happiness, show you’re approachable and even make other people cheerful. It helps that the smile is so contagious too. Smile at someone – they’ll find it practically impossible not to smile back. Long live the smile!
Here at Bay Dental we know that having a killer smile is so important. And we want to make sure everyone has one. That’s why we offer general and cosmetic dentistry. If you’re looking for an emergency dentist in Lancaster, we’ve got you covered. For more information about our services, please contact us on 01524 32639 and our expert team will be happy to help.