Leonardo da Vinci probably had no idea that his painting La Gioconda or the Mona Lisa would be the topic of so much discussion, debate and intrigue in regards to the subject's smile. It is without doubt the world's most famous smile.
But is it the world's most important smile?
I have enjoyed the Mona Lisa immensely but feel that the most important smile in the world is your own.
In my many years of being a dentist, I have discovered that every single patient of mine has a distinct outlook on their smile. Their feelings about their smile are unique to them. But the fact remains that the most important smile in the world is our own.
Our smile is our calling card and one of the most powerful ways with which we engage with others. When we feel great about our smile, we are quick to share it and connect with another human being or with a group of people. The benefits of that connection go well beyond the social aspect of life. Research is showing how smiling positively affects the brain's capacity to heal itself through the property of neuroplasticity.
Smiling- what a great way to create new pathways in our brain!
So go ahead and try this today - smile at someone. Someone you love, a random stranger, someone who looks like they are down on their luck, someone who did you a favor. It doesn't matter who you smile at. The result will be the same. You will feel happy and your brain will thank you for it.
And guess what, so will the recipient of your sweet gesture.
Until next time,
Be well, Do well, Live well
Sunita Merriman, DDS