Wednesday, May 9, 2012


This is more of a post about weird American culture than anything else. American's are obsessed with their teeth. I've been to Brasil, Finland, Russia, Mexico, Canada, Australia, Scotland, (pretty amazing life!). No-where else has the same obsession with teeth as Americans. We straighten, and whiten our teeth to the point where they do look quite unnatural. I have had many students ask me if my teeth are real, or if I painted them. It seemed like such an odd question, but compared to most foreigners, I have really uniform teeth. 
I am not immune to this cultural brain-washing about the aesthetic of teeth. I catch myself thinking, they would be really pretty if they just had better teeth. I brush my teeth after drinking coffee or eating curry. I take a lot of preventative measures to make sure my teeth are pearly white. 

Do our teeth look this weird to foreigners?
Japanese teeth range from a bit more character to how on earth do they chew? I'm not sure what their tooth aesthetics are. Prior to the Meiji period it was customary for Japanese people, especially upperclass married women, to dye their teeth black in a practice called Ohaguro. Now it is only seen in paintings and period costumes.

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