When we smile, why do we only bare our teeth when we know the person well? © Getty Images

When we smile, why do we only bare our teeth when we know the person well?

Asked by: Steve Lawer, via email

When we’re comfortable with someone, we’ll tend to smile in a more genuine and spontaneous way. Smiling without showing our teeth is more of a forced smile.

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This is backed up by a 2009 Dutch study, in which men were filmed performing posed smiles and spontaneous smiles, with the latter provoked by watching a funny film. When the researchers compared the two types of smile, they found that genuine smiles were both wider and toothier than posed ones.

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