Go to the Dentist for a Teeth Blackening

Look at those gorgeous blackened teeth! Think they're natural?

According to my dentist’s office, teeth whitening is the most popular cosmetic surgery in America. Nothing, other than clear skin, is considered more of an indication of overall good health and thus beauty than a mouth full of shiny, bright white (porcelain or bleached) teeth. So imagine then, if you will, staining your teeth as black as possible and having that considered the epitome of beauty. It certainly was in the Heian era. White teeth were considered disgusting – reminiscent of mealworms.

Sugar gliders snacking.

The next time someone tells you that an obvious fad will always be stylish or popular, rather than arguing, just nod, smile, and imagine your friend with a mouthful of blackened teeth. It’s a timeless look – just like the lumberjack shirts of today, blackened teeth never went out of style.



Filed under beauty

15 responses to “Go to the Dentist for a Teeth Blackening

  1. It’s funny. The more old samurai movies I watched that had women with black teeth, the more attractive the black teeth look became. There is something slightly erotic about a traditionally dressed Japanese woman with black teeth.

  2. jcg03002

    Was it only in old samurai movies that the women had blackened teeth? I’ve heard that new Japanese movies never show it.

  3. I would guess that they don’t do it now. Modern ideas of beauty are usually always shown when doing films about the past. No one would want to see their favorite star with black teeth, the sex appeal would be gone.

    I’ll have to watch a samurai drama on TV tonight for the teeth, but I’m quite sure I’ve never seen them.

  4. jcg03002

    That’s what I would think as well. I’m surprised that even older samurai films would be so authentic.

  5. Even the cheesy samurai movies such as Hanzo the Razor have woman with black teeth. Several of the older classics by Akira Kurosawa also have female actors with black teeth.

  6. Pingback: Go to the Dentist for a Teeth Blackening | White teeth whitening gel

  7. oolert

    At least the solution that they stained their teeth with had the benefit of preventing tooth decay 🙂

    • At the cost of an early death to lead poisoning, but one does what one must in the cause of fashion. 😉

      I had a professor once who tried to tie in tooth blackening to modern-day habits like hiding the mouth when laughing—deep-seated cultural aversion to flashing white teeth, he claimed. Not so sure about that, but FWIW.

  8. toni409

    Just as modest ladies, during the Heian period, let their sleeves hide their hands, showing the inside of one’s mouth was considered offensive – like the modern admonition to not talk with your mouth full of food. By blackening the teeth it added to the effect of a closed mouth while talking.

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  10. -__-

    If we applied Heain etiquette to our lives, it would probably be considered ugly in the U.S. Its very unusual to blacken our teeth in the U.S. because I bet lots of people would make fun of the person that blacken their teeth. That’s why we have modern teeth whitening, because we considered white tooth to look beautiful. But, I bet some people could respect people blackening their teeth if it were considered beautiful.

    • jcg03002

      It’s true. I believe it was partly considered beautiful because teeth in general were considered ugly – if you imagine the lack of dental hygiene then, a person might have missing teeth or rotten teeth, which must have been an awful sight.

      Thus, it was considered beautiful to blacken your teeth so much that they were barely visible, as if you had no teeth to begin with!

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