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Dracula to Davy Crockett: 5 of the most famous smiles of all time

By Alicia Green on January 02, 2019

It is hard to overestimate the value and impact of a great smile. Plenty of celebrities have converted a flash of upturned pearly whites into fame and fortune.

Fortunately, today you don’t have to be born with a fabulous smile. Even if you have crooked teeth, decayed teeth or missing teeth, thanks to advances in oral medicine, a skilled dentist can turn your ordinary grin into something spectacular.

It’s no mystery why people are attracted to individuals who have great smiles. A study in Sweden found people exposed to a smile invariably smiled back, even when they tried not to. An article in Psychology Today notes people who smile are viewed as attractive, reliable, relaxed and sincere.

Throughout history, many people have become famous or infamous because of their unique smiles. Here are few you’ve probably heard about.

Mona Lisa

This portrait by Leonardo Da Vinci is the most famous painting in the world. For hundreds of years, her smile has provoked speculation and controversy. Because her mouth does not appear to turn upward, some argue it is not a smile at all.

Others suggest she suffers from a medical condition. In fact, a recent article in Mayo Clinic Proceedings says the thinning hair, the yellowish skin and other symptoms point to an underactive thyroid.

Of course, these theories miss the most obvious possibility. In the 1500s when the portrait was painted, dental hygiene was limited and many people had stained, decaying or even missing teeth. It seems highly possible that Mona Lisa kept her mouth closed to avoid displaying the condition of her teeth.

Vlad Dracula

The most infamous smile of all time is likely that of Vlad Dracula, also known as Vlad the Impaler. Today known as a bloodthirsty fictional character, the real-life Count Dracula was likely more terrible than the mythical version who sports blood-sucking fangs.

“In total, Vlad is estimated to have killed about 80,000 people through various means,” states an nbcnews.com article. “This includes some 20,000 people who were impaled and put on display outside the city of Targoviste: The sight was so repulsive that the invading Ottoman Sultan Mehmed II, after seeing the scale of Vlad's carnage and the thousands of decaying bodies being picked apart by crows, turned back and retreated to Constantinople.”

George Washington

Like the Mona Lisa, portraits of the first president typically show him with a closed-mouth smile. At the time he took office, he a single premolar remaining. If he were alive today, Washington could have enjoyed permanent replacement of his teeth in a single day with the latest All-on-4® implant technology.

While he is rumored to have had dentures carved from wood, in actuality, they were crafted from lead, human teeth, cow teeth and elephant ivory, according to a report in Smithsonian.com.

Davy Crockett

The frontiersman who became a U.S. congressman and eventually gained fame as a martyr at the Alamo had a legendary smile. In fact, it was said he could kill a raccoon in a tree simply by grinning. According to a report in the New York Times archives, Crockett once said, “I could bring one tumbling down from the highest tree. I never wasted powder and lead when I wanted one of these creturs [sic].”

Although he was not a professional politician, obviously Crockett had mastered the essential Washington D.C. skill of spinning tall tales.

Marilyn Monroe

Although we now know this beauty icon fought dark mental demons, those battles were camouflaged by her spectacular smile. One of her most repeated quotes is: “Keep smiling, because life is a beautiful thing and there's so much to smile about.”

Millions of men and women loved her beauty and her smile. She was linked to some of the nation’s most famous and powerful men, including John F. and Robert Kennedy, Joe DiMaggio, Marlon Brando, Jerry Lewis, Frank Sinatra and many more, according to People magazine.

If you want to improve your smile, contact Stubbs Dental for everything from whitening and basic dental care to sedation dentistry and implant dentures.

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