Smiling and laughter is an everyday thing for us humans. At least it should be. If you are reading this and you have not smiled yet today, smile! Have you ever thought about the history of smiling? This human interaction conveys so much meaning. Let’s take a short look at the history of the smile.
If we try to trace the origins of the smile it goes all the way back to primates. Almost 30 million years of evolution has crafted the emotions conveyed in a smile. Originally thought to be a “fear grin” it was used as a way to convey harmlessness to other predatory animals. Over time, what would become the modern human being, the fear grin was turned into a smile as a form of a friendly greeting. The main concept here is the bearing of teeth. When other animals show teeth it is in an aggressive manner. Humans show teeth in a smile to convey love, happiness, excitement and more. It also quickly became used as a way to attract mates.
Babies on the other hand are capable of “fake smiles” with little to no stimuli. At about 9 months an infant can offer a false smile or laughter to a stranger but will reserve a real smile for the people they recognize and love, family.
What about early photos? Have you ever wondered why so many people do not smile in photos? Well we will discuss that in part of of a Short History of Smiles. Check back soon for our next instalment. In the meantime, convey the message you want to convey with a healthy smile. Regular check ups with Little Rockies Pediatric Dentistry is a great way to keep your smile shining.