Can People Tell You’re Smiling Behind your Face Mask?

Boynton Beach dentist - Can People Tell You’re Smiling Behind your Face Mask?

Can People Tell You’re Smiling Behind your Face Mask?

You would think that Boynton Beach dentist Dr. Rosemary Baghdassarian, who also has a dental office in Boca Raton, would hate to see her life’s work covered up with a face mask. But you would be wrong. Dr. Baghdassarian knows that wearing a face mask is one of the most important things you can do to help prevent the spread of Covid-19.  

Yes, she would love the world to see your beautiful smile, but she understands that we all have to do our part and that wearing a mask is a small price to pay for the health of our community. 

So keep smiling! Even if the world can’t see your pearly whites when you don your face mask, it doesn’t mean they can’t tell that you’re smiling. 

Can a Face Mask Hide a Smile?

Scientific American’s German-language sister publication Spektrum der Wissenschaft, asked facial expression and emotion researcher Ursula Hess, deputy dean for international affairs at the faculty of life sciences at Humboldt University of Berlin, if people can tell we’re smiling when we have half of our face hidden behind a mask. 

“People’s ability to recognize emotional expressions does not get worse if their mouth and nose are covered,” Hess said. “A real smile does not only move the mouth. Facial muscles—the zygomaticus major and the orbicularis oculi—also contract. The corners of the mouth turn up, and laugh lines appear around the eyes. In the study, observing the area around the eyes was usually enough to recognize someone else’s feelings.”

Hess also told the interviewer that in many cases, we rely more on the eyes than the mouth to get a read on people’s emotions. “The fact that we recognize even subtle mental states, such as thoughtfulness, by the changes in expression around the eyes is explained in the Reading the Mind in the Eyes test developed by British psychologist Simon Baron-Cohen and his colleagues,” she said. 

And, just because people can’t see your smile, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t continue to take good care of your teeth. If it’s time for you to schedule a regular cleaning or if you want to be ready to shine when the masks come off with cosmetic dentistry in our Boynton Beach or Boca Raton dental office, please contact us.

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