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Does It Really Take Fewer Muscles to Smile?

When you’re a little kid, you’re told a number of things by adults that aren’t actually true. Sometimes, the adults were just trying to scare you. Other times, the adult was just wrong.

Things like “swallowed gum stays in your stomach for years” or “cracking your knuckles will give you arthritis when you’re old.”

In most cases, no one even knows how these myths get started because they’re so ingrained in our culture. And they’re easy to rationalize in our heads. Other times, we simply want to believe they’re true because they sound nice.

Take this one for example:

“It takes fewer muscles to smile than to frown.”

Is it true though? Let’s take a closer look…

The Science Behind the Smile

The truth is, smiling is a hard action to measure. First of all, everyone smiles differently. Then, of course, there’s different types of smiles. There’s a full tooth grin. A smirk. A forced smile. A stage smile.

Some of these engage more muscles than others.

Typically, the human face has 43 muscles (though some people’s faces have fewer).

Studies are ultimately inconclusive, but some have shown it actually takes more muscles to smile than it does to frown. However, people naturally smile more and for longer periods than they frown.

Most people, at least.

Because of that, the muscles used for smiling are stronger, and therefore, it may feel easier to smile. Either way…

The Advantages of Smiling are Real

Let’s be honest, even if smiling did use fewer muscles the frowning, the difference in energy would be negligible. The advantages of smiling, though, are very real. Even a fake smile can increase your happiness.  It also lowers your stress and heart rate.

Not to mention people around you respond better when you smile. All of this has been backed up by multiple studies.  You can learn more here.

Why not improve your smile today? Many people find themselves smiling more than ever after having braces or Invisalign. Schedule your twin cities ortho appointment today and begin your journey to the best smile of your life.