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.
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.