What facial feedback hypothesis means for you

What facial feedback hypothesis means for you

The burst of a smile can be triggered by a number of senses: sight, smell, touch and many more. Once one of the senses becomes stimulated the brain will react, sending signals to the muscles in your face to contact and transform into the shape of a smile.

The art and science of both the act behind smiling and the end result can affect many areas of your life, including your emotion state and the way others perceive you. At Ortho3 in Bondi Junction / Woollahra and Sydney CBD we are interested in facial feedback hypothesis and how the act of smiling can affect your life and the lives of those that come into contact with you.

So, fancy words aside, what does facial feedback hypothesis actually mean?

The nuts and bolts of facial feedback hypothesis is the theory that facial movement can influence emotions. Essentially, this hypothesis suggests that facial expressions can trigger emotional reactions. Even Charles Darwin was on board:

shutterstock_39952696“The free expression by outward signs of an emotion intensifies it. On the other hand, the repression, as far as this is possible, of all outward signs softens our emotions… Even the simulation of an emotion tends to arouse it in our minds.”

So advancing from the notion that your smile affects your emotions, we have also looked at the concept that your smile can also have an effect on the emotions of those around you.

Is smiling contagious?

Not only does smiling have the potential to skew or shape the way you are perceived, it may also be contagious. Emotional contagion essentially means that the expression of emotions can be contagious. This means when your smile is intercepted, the receiver may mimic the expression. So if you believe in facial feedback hypothesis it would be plausible to say that if the receiver is made to smile, the smile can have residual effects on their emotions.

What does this mean? – your smile may actually have the potential to make other people happy.

Kind of mind blowing, right?


What this means for you

So if some of the evidence suggests that the act of smiling can:

  • Make you happy
  • Make others happy
  • Make people perceive you in a more favourable light

…then the question really is, why wouldn’t you smile?

The reality is that this can be a loaded question. If you answered this question somewhere around:

Because I am embarrassed about the appearance of my smile…

Then the orthodontic professionals at Orhto3 can help.

At Ortho3 we specialise in creating harmonious, straight and functional smiles

We are an orthodontic practice focused on correcting the bite (malocclusion) and the alignment of teeth. We focus on both functional and aesthetic results and create individualised treatment incorporating the latest technology. We provide a wide range of discreet orthodontic options to help patients who are embarrassed about the appearance of their smile. These treatments include:

Transparent aligners

Lingual braces


Ceramic tooth coloured braces

If the placement and appearance of your teeth is holding you back from smiling and potentially making you and others around you happy, contact us and learn about your treatment options at our two convenient locations in Bondi Junction / Woollahra and Sydney CBD.