Tooth Traditions

Posted .

A tradition can define who we are and where we come from. However, some traditions may seem extreme or strange to us, especially the ones from different cultures or time periods. Here are a few traditions involving teeth that seem unusual to us, but were normal for the people who practiced them.

The Original False Teeth

Before the invention of dentures, what did people use to replace lost teeth? Other people’s teeth. Human teeth from those no longer living were commonly used as false teeth along with animal teeth.

Have A Toothache, Find A Donkey

In medieval Europe, you either had your barber yank a tooth out with no anesthesia or you tried a folk remedy. Kissing a donkey to cure a toothache was one such remedy.

Scary Teeth For Battle

As if Vikings weren’t scary enough when they raided your village, they also made sure their teeth were terrifying. The Vikings carved grooves in the front surface of their teeth and then painted these areas red to intimidate their enemies.

Beautiful, Pointy Teeth

Female Mentawai Islanders of Indonesia still practice the tradition of filing their teeth to points when they reach puberty. These shark teeth are considered very beautiful to the Mentawai people.

Of Mice And Molars

Before the creation of the tooth fairy myth, it was believed that a mouse or rat took baby teeth from under pillows and left presents in their place. Rodents were thought to encourage of the growth of new teeth since their teeth are strong and constantly growing.

Why Have White Teeth When You Could Have Black Teeth

In several Asian countries, women used to dye their teeth black as a symbol of maturity and marriage. This tradition, called ohaguro in Japan, has actually seen a revival in recent years.