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Trendy Teeth Throughout History: 1800Dentist.com

Beauty is known for being in the eye of the beholder and overtime what people have considered beautiful has evolved. Throughout history there were a variety of trends implemented to achieve a pleasing look. During the Renaissance period, blond hair was a treasured attribute. During the Elizabethan time period, redheads were all the rage. As time moved forward, so did the concept of attractiveness (how else can one explain the popularity of big hair in the 1980s) and that has also influenced what makes a smile pretty.

In the here and now a majority of people value a smile filled with gleaming, white teeth as a major factor to good looks. It is for that reason that the dental treatments associated with cosmetic dentistry fuels a billion dollar industry. Statistics indicate that certain procedures are extremely popular among dentists and patients (including porcelain veneers and teeth whitening). However those are not the only options.

There are other popular trends in cosmetic dentistry right now that go a bit against the grain. Less-than-perfect teeth are hot right now, with some individuals paying big bucks to get diastema or even to get dental veneers filled with imperfections associated with real teeth. These more unusual looks once again prove that beauty is linked to perception and that is the common link throughout history.

Darkened Teeth

In current day America, black-out teeth are a popular look come the Halloween season as the look can be used to add a bit of punch to any costume. While most people now strive to avoid the look year round, in 17th century Japan painted black teeth were all the rage.

The tradition is called Ohaguro and it involved married women (and some men) painting their teeth black in order to show their faithfulness to their spouses. The practice was the norm during the Meiji Period (September 1868 through July 1912) as at that time, the look of black-glaze was highly popular and was considered beautiful on many objects ranging from pottery to teeth. Aside from being considered in the height of fashion, individuals who painted their shade the dark hued also got a boost to dental health as the dye acted as a dental sealant.

Tooth Decay

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have noted that tooth decay is the most chronic (yet preventable) disease impacting America's youth. The condition is linked to a number of issues including millions of lost school hours, pain and if left untreated tooth decay can contribute to health issues such as obesity and diabetes. It is because of these reasons that dental care professionals encourage people to conduct oral hygiene, eat nutritious foods and visit dental offices regularly. However, that was not always a case.

There was a time when tooth decay was considered a status symbol of the very wealthy as it showed that the elite had enough money to buy sugar. While the crystallized compound is a common additive to many processed foods, there was a time when the sweetener was rare and expensive. Only after Crusaders introduced the food to Europeans did it make it to the tables of the local elite and once they tasted it, they were hooked.

At that time the link between sugar and tooth decay was virtually unknown. However, famous redhead Queen Elizabeth I of England helped proved the connection. Legend had it that the the Virgin Queen had excessively decayed teeth and blackened because she had unlimited access to sugary foods and candy. As a queen she was able to make a rotten mouth the height of fashion.


When it comes to contemporary standards of beauty, there is a bit of room for everything. Popular styles include technicolor hair color, body modifications (including tongue piercing) and a cornucopia of fashion. While some people favor cosmetic dentistry to improve their smile and make it look picture perfect, others rely on the skills of their dentist to make a statement!

Thanks to the current wave of sexy vampires in America, vampire chic is all the rage. Patients are volunteering undergoing cosmetic dentistry opt to get their canine teeth elongated. The trend is also hugely popular in Japan, but not for the undertones of sexuality linked to vampire stories, but in young girls.

This variation of the look of sharpened and long cuspids are actually the cosmetic dentistry choice of young, innocent girls indebted to a style called "Yaeba". According to The New York Times Yaeba translates into "double teeth," and while it is also a rare medical condition, it is simply a look young women desire. The crooked teeth are believed to make a girl more approachable, more feline-like (which is part of the Japan beauty culture) and down to earth, unlike the perfect image typically used in the advertising, film, entertainment and fashion industries. According to their reports "Plaisir Dental Salon" is one dental spa specializing in the cosmetic dentistry technique. In order to create that off-kilter smile, artificial teeth are adhered to a natural tooth underneath (http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/23/fashion/in-japan-a-trend-to-make-straight-teeth-crooked-noticed.html?_r=1&;ref=fashion).

Regardless of what look you want in your smile, healthy teeth should be a top priority. The right dentist can help get your dental health on track and implement the cosmetic dental care you want to customize your grin.  1-800-DENTIST can help you find a dentist to help as we screen all our members prior to admitting them to our database so we can find the best dentist based on YOUR needs!

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