Weirdest Tooth and Smile Trends around the World

April 22, 2014

Think Americans have gone crazy for Chiclet teeth and blinding white smiles that put Ross Gellar’s to shame? Think again—there are some insane trends in the world of teeth and smiles across the globe, and many of them will leave you scratching your head. Even worse, some are permanent (imagine getting that butterfly tattoo plastered on your face instead of hiding it on your back). While many of these “trendsetters” will probably live to regret these moves, at least it makes for plenty of entertainment.


1. Teeth Blackening


This isn’t so much a trend in some parts of the world, but rather a culture preference and beauty standard. However, from an American perspective, it can be dumbfounding. There are Vietnamese folk songs where the virtues of black teeth are lauded. The ultimate compliment is to have your teeth compared to “black lacquer.” On the plus side, it has to be easier keeping your teeth pitch black rather than white, right?


2. Double Teeth


Craving the “double stuff” isn’t just for Oreos—and it’s no surprise that Japan is behind this trend. The allure of “double teeth” is going strong here, also known as the snaggle tooth. Young men and women are flocking to their dentists, asking for teeth that look like Jewel’s in the 1990s. Even some people with otherwise straight, bright white teeth want them crooked for a change. In some instances, temporary caps or bonds are used, but some dentists are permanently changing the shape of teeth by adding porcelain veneers after filing down the bone.


3. Brace Face


There’s absolutely nothing wrong with braces, especially considering the many advancements in dental technology lately. You can now opt for Invisalign, or choose colored braces to showcase your personality. However, there’s a trend in some hipster circles back towards the dreaded “brace face” of the 80s, complete with garish silver train tracks. But if you like it, and it’s doing the job, that’s all that matters.


4. Vampire Teeth


Blame it on Twilight if you wish, but there are hoards of young adults and teens lining up to get “vampire teeth.” Granted, sometimes this can be attractive and even naturally occurring, such as when the canine teeth are just slightly elongated. Other times, it looks like you’re celebrating Halloween year-round. If they’re caps or temporary bonds, there’s no harm done, but if you’re having teeth shaved down and permanent veneers added, that’s some serious Twilight fandom.


5. Grills Gone Wild

What started as a necessity (gold filling and other metal “tooth replacements” before the era of cosmetic dentistry) is now a staple. First, it was embraced by the hip hop industry—but that’s entertainment, and they have a free pass. However, with everyone from Madonna (that’s Madge today, not in her youth) to everyday people foregoing healthy teeth in favor of metallic accessories, that might be taking things a bit far. If you want to glitz things up, consider a temporary grill that you can swap out.


When it comes to “trends,” it might be better to stick with clothes and hairstyles. Classic beauty is a staple with teeth, and nothing beats a naturally white smile and healthy, straight teeth.

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