Is your smile ready for another epic Summer Olympics? To amp up your excitement, we’re looking back to when grins grabbed the gold. Here are our favorite moments:
• Olympic Dental Teams
Olympic games have teams of dental professionals that volunteer to care for the athletes from around the world. Surprisingly, traumatic care isn’t the most requested service. At the London Olympics, nearly half of participants hadn’t had a dental exam in the last year, according to the clinic. The clinic goes beyond cleanings too, providing mouthguards and on-site dentists during competition. The hope is that athletes return home as more than Olympians—but as oral health advocates.
• A Bite of Gold
The pose is a podium tradition: Olympians biting their gold as if it were gelt. Though chocolate coins would be a worthy way to taste victory, what’s the appeal of a mouthful of metal? No one knows for sure, but historical counterfeiting may play a role in the metal mystery. Coins used to contain precious metals, so money handlers would bite them to test their authenticity. Another explanation may be photogs’ obsession with the pose. The snapshot has become an Olympics staple.
• Synchronized Smiling
Synchronized swimming is one of the more offbeat Olympic events. But this strenuous sport requires stamina, strength and lots of smiling. And those smiles pay off positively in the judges’ scores. And looking effortless in the water takes a lot of effort. This 2008 Olympian said it best: “Imagine doing a four-minute bike sprint while holding your breath in 15-second intervals. And we have to do it all with a smile.”
• Ryan Lochte’s Grill
This standout swimmer of the 2012 Olympics sported an unforgettable star spangled dental grill. And the price of that custom dental décor is unforgettable too. It reportedly cost $25,000, and not likely covered by dental benefits! While mostly harmless adornment, prolonged use can trap food particles and bacteria around teeth and gums.
What’s your favorite Olympic [smile]stone? Share yours below!