Happy Halloween! In honor of the day that goes with all things scary or weird, here are a few real-life tooth practices that would stand out as way strange by our western standards:
Filing the teeth to be pointy. While there are probably a few Americans who just like that vampire look, it is rare for anyone in our culture to file their teeth into points. Not so for some of the more tribal cultures of Africa and Indonesia where the practice can be common, respected, and considered highly aesthetic. There is also evidence that some ancient Aztecs and ancient Nordic people also practiced tooth-filing. Read a bit more about it on Wikipedia if you’re curious.
Blackening the teeth. Called ohaguro in Japanses, the practice was popular and common in Japan throughout history, until about a 100 years ago, and also exists in other parts of Asia. The blackening solution contains iron, vinegar and vegetable tannins and is painted on. Although it helped prevent tooth-decay by acting as a kind of sealant, it was mostly done for the Aesthetic value. Check out the Wikipedia page for ohaguro.
Intentionally making crooked-looking teeth. Called “yaeba”, this is a modern Japanese trend of females having prosthetic teeth attached over the canines to create a snaggletoothed look, resembling an endearing youthful grin. While this one is not really eerie, it makes the list for being strange… and Halloween in just about the only time a typical American might want fake crooked teeth! Here’s an article on NYDailyNews.com if you’re interested.
At Mall of Georgia Dentistry, we offer none of the above procedures, but will gladly help you maintain your naturally shaped, white, straight teeth, all day every day 🙂 Have a great Halloween, everyone! We look forward to seeing you all for Halloween Candy Buyback Festival on Friday!