THERE’S A BIG DIFFERENCE between a real smile and a fake smile. And while a polite smile can help smooth over some social situations, seeing a from-the-heart smile can completely turn the other person’s day around.

If you are looking for braces in New Jersey, then you found the right place! If you want to show off your true smile more often, you are going to want the confidence that only completing orthodontics treatment can give you.

Plus, there are ways to tell if someone is smiling sincerely or if they are just forcing a smile to humor you. Let us get started into the difference between real smiles and the fake ones!

What Is “The Duchenne Smile?”

The Duchenne Smile was named after 17th century French researcher Duchenne de Bologne. He believed that the key to a real smile (a genuine expression of happiness) was found in the eyes. Even though the muscles around your mouth are easy to shape into a smile, the muscles around your eyes (the Orbicularis Orbiti) are only triggered by true happiness.

You can tell if someone is using these muscles if you notice the corner of the eyes “crinkle”- or crow’s feet appear. This type of genuine smile is normally hard to fake, but some people can learn to do it well.

You can also learn to tell the difference between a real and a false smile. Many people also have a natural inkling on whether someone is pretending to smile or if they are genuinely happy.

Want to test it out for yourself?

Can You Spot Fake Smiles? Take This Quiz!

This is really a lot of fun! Take the quiz yourself!

Do You Know How To Smize?

Smize means “smile with your eyes”. Despite Duchenne’s long-standing theory, recent research (and Tyra Banks) suggests that anyone can fake a “genuine” smile. What do you think?

Smizing revolves around keeping your face relaxed and neutral but still bringing a smile to your eyes. After Tyra Banks used the phrase on America’s Next Top Model, it became a popular method that models used while being photographed.

If you want to try it out, raise your lower eyelids in the mirror without moving your mouth. Once you have gotten used to doing this, you can smile slightly- it should look much more genuine than a fake smile.

One Key To Spotting A Genuine Smile Is Imitation

Smiles are literally contagious. When we see a smile we have a subconscious urge to reflect it back. And when we imitate a smile, we can FEEL whether or not it is real. In a 2013 study, subjects held a pencil in their mouth while scrolling through photos of people smiling.

The pencil kept participants from reflecting the expressions they saw, handicapping their ability to read the emotions behind those smiles. Interesting!

When we are happy, we smile with our entire faces, not just our mouths. If you are looking for an imitation smile, be sure to watch the person’s whole face. This can let you know if they are really happy or not! You should be able to notice if that “sparkle” we see in real smiles is missing.

Other Ways to Tell if it is a Real Smile

Many people can intuitively tell if someone is faking an emotion. However, you can easily hone your skills! Here are a few tips to determining if a smile is sincere or not:

  • Watch for eye movements: Real smiles cause the eyes to move. It is fake if the rest of the person’s face stays still while they are smiling.
  • Watch for bottom teeth: When a person has a genuine smile, they are less likely to expose the bottom row of teeth. A fake smile is more likely to include both rows of teeth. If it helps, think of how you might smile when forced to take a picture.
  • Watch for crow’s feet: When you notice someone smiling, look to the corners of their eyes. Are there crow’s feet there? If there are, then it is more likely to be a real smile, since they are using more of their face muscles to do it.

If you want to know if a person is actually smiling for real, then keep these three criteria in mind. If it all matches up, then they are happy and smiling because of it.

Are There Benefits to Smiling?

There are! Smiling and laughing can have a positive impact on your mental health and well-being. This is because…

  • Smiling releases endorphins
  • Smiling boosts the immune system
  • They are contagious
  • And smiling makes you more attractive to others

For all of these reasons and more, you want to be able to smile often. If you are feeling unconfident in your teeth, then it probably is harder for you to smile openly around others. If that is the case orthodontics treatment can help!

We want to help you find your perfect smile. Contact us today if you need braces in New Jersey or are looking for a reliable practice to get you started with Invisalign aligners. It makes us happy to see a patient’s first genuine smile after completing their treatment!

Let Us Help Keep YOUR Smile Healthy And Confident

Smiles are powerful. Genuine smiles are even more powerful. When you are confident about your smile, it can truly change your life. If you are always hiding your smile, then set up an appointment with us! We can keep your smile beautiful and healthy!

Clear aligners can be extra helpful in keeping your confidence levels up. If you are looking for Invisalign in Hamilton NJ, we would be happy to get you started on your first set! We have the background and experience to make your orthodontics treatment go as smoothly as possible.

The aligners are invisible to others and straighten your teeth just as well as braces- meaning you can feel great about all of your smiles!

Contact us today if you want to learn more about getting your best possible smile.


In short, people smile often, but there is a difference between our real smiles and our fake ones. Once you take the time to learn how to tell them apart, it will start coming naturally to you.

We want everyone to be confident in their genuine smiles. Because of that, we also want to provide treatment for everyone who wants to have a straighter set of teeth! After going through the orthodontics process, many people feel so much more confident in their smiles- and it shows!

We would love to hear from you! Contact us with any questions that you might have or to set up an appointment with us.

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