How many muscles do we use when smiling? (and other neat facts about a SMILE)



The Saturday Series has begun! Every Saturday in February the posts will be about smiling. Oh boy! ? (As if Saturday’s needed even one more thing to look forward to…)

So, how many muscles do YOU use to smile?

Everyone’s smile is a little different, and everyone has many different smiles. “How many muscles does it take to smile” does not have a simple answer. Some people smile with a lot of teeth showing, some with none, and many somewheres in between. The levator labii superioris is a pair of muscles (one on each side of your face) that lifts your upper lip up. I can make my lip on the left side lift up independent of the right, but I can’t get my right side to do it very well. (My eyebrows have more talent in this department lol ?). Can anyone alternately lift both sides of their lip? Post a video of it! #lopsidedsmile #crinkleupmynose #smile4health

Quote to live by: “Smile in the mirror. Do that every morning and you’ll start to see a big difference in your life.” -Yoko Ono.

It’s week 2 of the Saturday Series – February is about SMILING 🙂

The Zygomaticus Major and Zygomaticus Minor are 2 pairs of muscles that lift the corners of your mouth. Picture 2 diagonal lines that connect the corner of your mouth to your cheekbone and that’s where those 2 thin muscles are situated. People that have dimples are technically said to have “fovea buccalis”, and it’s a result of a defect in the zygomaticus major; a split in the muscle which leaves a dent that your skin sinks into when the muscle contracts. I am among the large majority that find this birth defect to be cute. ☺️ #smileeasierthanafrown #howmanymusclestosmile

“I have witnessed the softening of the hardest of hearts by a simple smile.” – Goldie Hawn

It’s the 3rd Saturday in February – and for the Saturday series this month – it’s all about SMILING! – The Levator Anguli Oris draws the angle of the lip up. And the Risorius draws the smile laterally- meaning wide. Can you drag your smile side to side? #showsometeeth #smilewide And here’s a good quote: Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened. – Dr. Seuss

Week 4 of the Saturday Series – SMILE!

Can you make your eyes smile? Orbicularis Oculi is responsible for that. The Orbicularis Oculi is a muscle that makes a circle around our eye. #crowsfeet #smilewrinkles. Those hard earned wrinkles are only contagious if someone smiling makes you smile too… and isn’t a smile a good thing to catch?!

Quote by George Eliot: “Wear a smile and have friends; wear a scowl and have wrinkles”.

Word of the day: RICTUS. Anyone know what that means? (shout out to one of my patients at Pools of Hope for the vocabulary lesson!)

If you feel like learning a few more words, there’s a fun medical terminology quiz on my webpage too:

WEEK 5 – SMILE! Sure, a smile can have many different meanings! And I think a genuine smile, along with being a display of happiness, shows confidence and an openness to be kind. I read an article at and it says that “Humans are born with the ability to smile, it is not something that we learn. For instance, even blind babies are able to smile.” Is that not so cool!! So, as we are wrapping up the February Saturday Series on SMILING – be sure to show those pearly whites a few extra times today. It’s good for your health, and will brighten someone else’s day and give them hope.

“They might not need me; but they might. I’ll let my head be just in sight; a smile as small as mine might be precisely their necessity.” -Emily Dickenson #smile #smileforhealth


Please check out my Facebook and Instagram page – both called ‘insightintoinjury’ – so that you can get content like this when it first becomes available! Also, sign up to get emails because I will send a heads up for new posts there as well!

Leave a Comment