Posted on 2/27/2016 by Janie Bell
| Smiling seems like it is the most natural thing in the world, but people didn't always smile as much as they do now. In fact, a new study has examined how much smiling increased throughout the 20th century. Researchers believe that people today are much more comfortable with smiling, and as a whole, we are smiling much larger than we ever have before.
This research was conducted by Brown University and the University of California Berkeley. It used nearly 155,000 photos from high school yearbooks between 1905 and 2013. These yearbooks were taken from 128 schools from 27 states, and after removing non-frontal facing photos, about 38,000 pictures remained.
Researchers then created composite images for the photos for each year to measure certain factors. This included the curvature of the lips, and it was found that the curvature of smiles increased significantly over this time frame.
In 1905, men's lips curved downward in a frown at -0.5 degrees, while women's lips curved slightly at 1.2 degrees. By 2005, the men's lips were curved upward at 9.5 degrees, while women's lips were curved at 13.5 degrees.
The data retrieved from this study show that not only is it more likely that people smile today, but those smiles have also become larger. Today, it is actually considered abnormal to have a small smile with the lips closed.
Instead, we are encouraged to smile largely and to show our teeth. Therefore, it is difficult for us to conceal unattractive teeth with a simple half-smile.
If you aren't happy with your smile and often find yourself trying to hide it in photos, you may be doing more harm than good.
Instead, contact our dental office to determine what options might exist to improve the appearance of your teeth. Jump on the bandwagon and start smiling more often and wider today.
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