Although the tongue weighs very little, very few people are able to hold it. -Anonymous
Question #47332 posted on 09/10/2008 3:01 a.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

Would you date a guy (or a girl, as the case may be) with bad teeth? I mean, if I were really in love with him, the teeth would not be a big obstacle; I'm not that shallow. He's otherwise attractive, but his crooked and weirdly spaced teeth are the first thing you notice about him, and they make him look like a hick when he's actually really smart and it wrong to get hung up on a minor imperfection like that? I know I'm not perfect physically either, but let's face it, his teeth are kind of distracting. Opinions, please?

- kettle

A: Dear kettle ~

Yeah. I probably would (assuming I were still single, of course). Well, it'd probably be a hangup... but I think I'd get over it if I liked his personality enough. But perhaps that's because I came from a family with dental problems. Though, more along the lines of cavities, not horribly spaced teeth... although that's not unheard of in my family either. (I could fit a smartie between my two front teeth until I was in Young Women's.)

Heh. Story time. I actually just heard this story several days ago. So this girl I know went on her first date with the guy that is now her husband. They went out to dinner and one moment everything was normal, the next minute he was missing two of his teeth (the ones next to the front teeth). Well, understandably, this kind of freaked her out. Suddenly he was a hillbilly for no apparent reason and with no explanation. She didn't know him well enough to ask, though, so she just stayed kind of weirded out. Finally, a couple of dates later she asked him what the deal was and turns out he was missing those two teeth (for whatever reason), but he was too young to get implants (did you know your teeth can keep moving until you're 25?!), so he wore a retainer with two fake teeth. (She thought he just had a retainer.) Because of the awkwardness of eating with fake teeth, he was really good at just quickly slipping his retainer into a napkin before eating (so fast she didn't even notice him doing it). Also, he was so used to doing it and just thought everyone knew about his fake teeth that he didn't even think to warn/tell her. He now has implants and no retainer. (Though, he didn't get those until after they were married.)

Point is, teeth can be fixed. Brother Sr. currently has braces because his teeth are rather spaced apart. If you two fall in love and it really bothers you, perhaps you can talk him into getting work done. Maybe he's never been able to afford it.

What if you marry a guy with perfect teeth and then he gets kicked in the face at some point and loses a tooth? Will you still love him?

Yes, I think you're being superficial if you let it get in the way of something more serious. I vote you get over this minor flaw.

~ Dragon Lady
A: Dear kettle,

I agree with Dragon Lady: "Well, it'd probably be a hangup... but I think I'd get over it if I liked [her] personality enough." Obviously it could be a bit of an obstacle, but it wouldn't be a deal-breaker. And as Dragon Lady also pointed out, teeth can be fixed, if you have the money and it's that important to you.

—Laser Jock
A: Dear Ethel,

I've dated a boy with very well-aired teeth. When I thought about it, it bothered me, but luckily he had a lot of other good qualities I was able to focus on while we were dating. I have, however, always wondered why he didn't get it fixed...oh well.

There are some physical things that do distract me, though. I tend to avoid those because I'm shallow and would spend the entire time staring at/thinking about those things. It's really hard to concentrate on a person when there's something bothersome already taking up most of your thoughts.

-Polly Esther
A: Dear K:

Hahahaha. I may or may not be trying to broach this subject across the waves of the Interwebs right now!

I have a really attractive smile. It's probably my best physical feature. Perhaps because of this, teeth are something of a big deal for me in the looks department.

Honestly, I don't think I could kiss a guy with as bad of teeth as you describe. It would just be viscerally unattractive to me. The guys I have dated had have more average, but still none-too-impressive, teeth, and I won't complain if I am dating someone more seriously and he takes steps to improve the situation, in either whiteness or straightness.

Considering I could see myself liking tall, short, curly-haired, or straight-haired guys; guys from rich or poor families; guys with a nice car or no car; guys who are scrawny or could lose a few pounds; unfashionable dressers or those bordering on metrosexual; I hope you will allow me my one vanity.