When I told my friends I was writing a post on what Brazilians thought of British teeth, I asked a few of them for their opinions. Whilst some were pretty non-plus about the state of our (not so) pearly whites (you can read those comments here), others were absolute bastards and delighted in telling me EXACTLY what they thought of them! So for your amusement, here are some of the harshest comments I received:
- “I spent some time working in a bar in London, and whenever people used to walk into the bar they’d smile at each other. I used to think, ‘just stop! Can’t you see what I see? You guys should stop showing those teeth in public!’”
- “My friend used to live in London and I asked her if it was true what people said about British teeth. She told me that it was worse, she said that the teeth in the UK are absolutely disgusting.”
Then there is this comment from the BBC article I used in my last post:
- “If you see someone in the UK brushing their teeth in the toilet, no doubt he’s Brazilian!”
But my favourite ‘British with bad teeth story’ came from my friend last year. He’d come over to mine to hang out one afternoon and for some reason, I decided to show him a British documentary series about the teaching profession in British schools (Yeah, I’ve just realised how utterly dull that makes ‘hanging out’ at mine sound, but let’s skip past this!).
“I’m sorry,” he interrupted less than a few minutes into the show. “I’ve not been listening to a word that guy has been saying. I’ve just been staring at his mouth.”
These words lingered in the air long enough for me to be able to glance back at them.
“Just look at those teeth!” he said theatrically, gesturing over at the screen.
To be completely honest with you, I have to agree that this guy did have a mouth full of dental mishaps. But they weren’t that bad, not really. Not for me at least.
I was soon to learn that this wasn’t a view shared by my friend, who subtly pointed this out.
“They’re absolutely disgusting! Do people really have teeth like this in the UK?”
“Well, some, but….”
“Eugh! Andrew, teeth are the postcard of your face. If you can afford to, why don’t you pay to have them straightened and cleaned properly?” I paused for thought, trying to think of a valid response that could justify the state of the nashers on screen. Yet I could see where he was coming from; they were undeniably 50 shades of brown and arranged like the end of a Jenga game.
“Well, teeth aren’t so important for British people” I reasoned.
“The human race has evolved. We have braces and toothbrushes nowadays! There is no reason for anybody to have teeth like THAT!”
Recognising I had no more to add, I shrugged my shoulders in defeat. Yet I found that my reluctance to say anymore only encouraged him to continue.
“I mean, look at them! Could you kiss someone with teeth like that? And I mean really kiss? Could you stick your tongue in a mouth when a person has teeth like THOSE?”
His face recoiled back in mock disgust, as if he were imagining brushing his tongue up against these jagged, stained teeth.
“Because I couldn’t!”
Then, doing his best Simon Cowell on American Idol impression, he added, “It’s a ‘no’ from me! That guy and those teeth are NOT going to Hollywood!” ____________________________________________________________________________________________________
Do you know what? I was totally going to wrap this post up with that last sentence. However in the two days that have intervened between me hitting the save button and then returning back to this post, one particular thought has intrigued me. Do bad teeth matter when dating?
Being the absolute professional I am, I asked a number of my students in class (and disguised it as important conditionals practice!)
“Could you ever date someone with bad teeth?”
“Well, erm…yeah!” A few responded, without a whole lot of conviction.
“But it wouldn’t be long until I suggested a visit to the dentist!” Joked one. Actually, thinking about it I’m not sure if she was joking! She probably wasn’t.
This then got me reflecting on my own recent Tinder dates. Have the Brazilians who’ve swiped to the right when they’ve seen my picture already checked my teeth out, thinking that they need a second look because I’m British? Is ‘dating a Brit with Austin Powers teeth’ something that would worry them? There was only one way to find out. I sent out some messages to my recent dates!
Below is a whatsapp conversation I had with the most recent English speaking date I’ve been on!
The others I contacted also said something similar! So what have I learned from this? Well, if you’re a Brit using a dating application, be warned! Either brush up on your photoshop skills and/or maybe even your teeth! You see, as I’ve discovered whilst living here, Brits in Brazil are likely to have their teeth judged against some rather high (well, high for us at least!) Brazilian standards.
Are you a Brazilian who would date someone with ‘bad teeth?’
Are teeth all that important when on a date with someone for the first time?