So now it’s been shown. It’s true (well, maybe). 213 first year dental students surveyed at the University of Tromsø in Norway on their oral hygiene habits and these data were compared to their sense of humour (yes, this can apparently be measured scientifically!) using the Multidimensional Sense of Humour Scale (MSHS) initially published by Thorson and Powell in 1993. As the article states, a sense of humour and the ability to laugh “reduces stress, enhances hope, relieves tension, and stimulates immune function”. Comparing the top and bottom 30% based on their humour scores, the top group had significantly higher levels of oral health status, gingival health status, toothbrushing frequency and dental visit frequency compared to the bottom group. Even better, those who flossed their teeth daily showed significantly higher levels of humour than those who flossed a mere once a month (horrors!) All this sounds like a student prank, but apparently it’s correct (and if it is a student prank, the authors must be flossers, which proves its validity all in itself.) So if you want to smile and enjoy a good joke, make sure to floss daily.
Image from Wikimedia Commons
Rom J Intern Med. 2010;48(4):333-9.
Relationship of humour with oral health status and behaviours.
Dumitrescu AL1, Toma C, Lascu V.
1Institute of Clinical Dentistry, Faculty of Medicine, University of Tromsø, Norway. firstname.lastname@example.org
PMID: 21528762 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]