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your look ● the smile dr By Dr. Mark Falco Smile and the World Smiles With You There’s more to your smile than just curling your lips and showing your teeth, and knowing the ins and outs could be the difference between winning and losing N o one can refute that a gorgeous smile is conta- gious to those it touches. Think about it—who wants to be spending quality time around some- one who refuses to give you a smile? That’s just not happening around my office, ever. So, do me a precious favor—stretch your lips gently, lift your cheeks towards your eyes and feel your face warm up as your teeth begin to shine through the opening of your mouth. Does- n’t that feel terrific? For a continuous remedy against having a bad day, repeat this motion six times an hour at a minimum. Doctor’s or- ders! If you want to have an even quicker recovery from something that’s not making you feel happy, then add a few chuckles, laughs and giggles to this prescription. It’s amaz- ing how quickly a recovery can take place. BE A KID AGAIN How many times a day do you think you smile? Do you have an actual number? I am sure you think you smile many more times than you actually do. Studies show that children smile about 400 times a day. Adults, however, smile an av- erage of over 20 times a day. A woman is believed to smile about 60 times a day, but a man is believed to smile only 8. 54 PAGEANTRY RARE SIGHTING: Actress Kristen Stewart is routinely lampooned on the internet for hiding her smile, which is actually quite radiant. If you think you smile a lot more, it’s probably because you’re remembering your childhood. Why do we smile less? Stress in our lives causes us to smile less. We’re too busy trying to put out fires, meet dead- lines, manage studies or programs, plan things and deal with relationships. Who has time to smile? Children don’t have to deal with these stresses in life on a daily basis. That’s why we all have to make a concerted effort to smile. It’s healthy, too. IT’S THE BEST MEDICINE How healthy can a smile be for us? A study done by the British Dental Health Foundation found that while smiling improves mood, it also has secondary consequences. Smil- ing improves the mood of people around you. This could be noted as “second-hand smiling”. Research also shows that a smiling person is judged to be more pleasant, attractive, sin- cere, sociable and competent than a non-smiling person. Smiling has also been shown to lower blood pressure, re- lieve stress and boost our immune systems. It releases hor- mones such as endorphins, natural pain-killers and serotonin. These three hormones help to make us feel good. THE NUMBERS DON’T LIE Dale Carnegie, the famous motivational speaker, stated that smiling wins friends and influences people. I don’t think anyone can argue with the success of Dale Carnegie’s