Smile and live a long life. It seems too simplistic but a team of researchers from Wayne University in Detroit have found evidence that it just might be true.
The team, led by Ernest L. Abel, professor of obstetrics and gynaecology and psychology at Wayne State, studied the photographs of 230 Major League
baseball players who started before 1950, rating their smiles.
They found that those with:
- "non-smiles" had a life expectancy of 72.9 years,
- "partial smilers" lived on average for 75 years, and
- "big smilers" lived for an average 79.9 years.
Reporting in Psychological Science magazine, Prof Abel and his colleagues said that even after allowing for variables such as marital status, education, birth year and body-mass index, the smile-longevity link still held.
The methodology could be arguable but the results are quite compelling. As for a conclusion, how about the fact that our fantastic restorative work contributes to that great smile, which makes the patient smile even more, thereby adding even more years to their life! Pat yourself on the back.