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April 25, 2016

Why is a smile so important?  Why can we decide from across the room whether that person is potentially friend or foe by how they look at us?  How do we start formulating whether we like someone or not by their smile?  Isn’t it an amazing thing?  A smile can calm the room and change the tone.  A smile can get the party going!  A smile can attract a future spouse. A smile can show empathy. A smile can show affirmation.  A smile can instantly connect us with another individual.

Did you know that that there is a localized structure in our brains dedicated to the recognition of the human face?  Is this not amazing that as human beings we are created in a manner to put special emphasis on the individual and their facial characteristics.  Our Creator knows how important interpersonal relations are for our well being.  We don’t have local structures for recognizing our houses, our cars, our pets, etc.; but faces in this regard are completely unique.  The weight of this fact is evident when we look at how important a cognitive process must be to warrant a specific “brain address”.  When we think of dedicated areas of the brain, we think of “the motor cortex”, “the visual cortex”, “the speech and hearing centers”, etc..   Right along beside these hugely important areas is a local center called the fusiform gyrus that is dedicated to human face recognition.  

“Every time you smile at someone, it is an action of love, a gift to that person, a beautiful thing.”

                                                                                                                    Mother Teresa

Want more info on just how important our smiles are? Check out this amazing TED Talk from Ron Gutman on the hidden power of smiling. 



  David J. Birdwell, DDS