Your teeth are the first thing that anyone notices when you talk, and there have been sufficient studies that have reinforced the long-standing stereotype – people are attracted to straighter and whiter teeth.

According to a UN report, Singapore has dropped from being one of the top 25 happiest countries in the world in 2016 to the 34th position in 2018. In another report, the World Health Organization (WHO) deems it the country with the highest rate of depression.

Its thriving GDP and rising salaries fails to keep citizens happy as they compete in the race towards the illusory promises of capitalism.

In such rough times, a smile can be a calming remedy, proven by science to elevate the senses.  It stimulates the production of feel good neurotransmitters like dopamine, serotonin, and endorphins; positively impacting the human psyche. Even observing a smile stimulates the positive psychological and physiological factors.

The act of smiling has pleasant effects on health and immunity. Something we all need more of, and in abundance. But not all smiles generate similar ecstatic responses in humans. In a UK based study, conducted on 109 volunteers – followed by a poll on 1000 adults, it is reported that people assign varying mood-boosting values to different smiles.

The gratifying qualities of various smiles differ depending on who owns them and its visual aesthetic. The study assigns monetary values reflecting how much each smile would cost if we were to pay for its benefits.

The Richest Smile

If smiling was currency, children would be the richest. Observing just one smile on a child creates stimulating sensations comparable to receiving 16,000 pounds sterling or eating 2000 chocolate bars. That equates to almost SG$ 28,000 in local currency.

This is closely followed by the smiles of people we love, which would set you back 8,500 pounds sterling; or 600 chocolates. Catching the smile of a friend would not be cheap either. Just one smile is worth 145 sterling pounds.

Halo Effect

Every smile triggers a specific emotion in the observer. Receiving a smile back from an important person triggers strong emotions, fastening the memory with other memorable events from the past.

These positive emotions enable us to weigh the feelings triggered during the observation, and can be translated into words we use to describe the smiles. Some smiles are thus welcoming and friendly while others are dishonest and hypocritical. The condition and alignment of your teeth also play an important role in the value of your smile.

Smiles on favorite celebrities trigger better emotions, placing them at a greater value while those possessed by politicians or royalty fare poorly in comparison.

Real Vs Fake

All smiles are contagious, yet not all are considered sincere. A real smile uses more facial muscles, resulting in the formation of crinkles and pouches under the eyes while showing-off your maintained teeth. This makes the face appear friendlier and inviting.

Tight-lipped smiles, are good at hiding less than perfect teeth; however, they also lead to doubts regarding sincerity. Thus, faces that smile with their teeth, eyes, and even noses rate better with observers.

Let’s Get Smiling

As the old rhyme goes:

‘A smile is something nice to see,
It doesn’t cost a cent
A smile is something all your own,
It never can be spent’

Thanks to the research, we now know just how valuable a smile can be; be it a loved one’s or your own for others! To keep yourself and those around you happier, take care of your teeth and help those around you integrate proper oral hygiene regimens in their daily life.

If you’re unhappy with your smile, there are a multitude of treatments to help you get comfortable. Aesthetic dental clinics such as Orchard Scotts Dental in Singapore can help you remove plaque or smoke stains from your teeth with their teeth whitening services, and even offer Invisalign or porcelain veneers to help with crooked teeth or dental implants for missing teeth.  For a complete smile makeover, consult an aesthetic dental clinic to ensure straight pearly whites that flash a SG$ 28000 smile.