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Some fashion trends are difficult to understand, and others may seem downright crazy. Here are a few interesting trends that have appeared around the world throughout history which all concern teeth.

The Teeth Of The Dead

Because of poor dental care and hygiene practices throughout history, people used to lose their teeth all the time. Without the luxury of false teeth created from porcelain or ceramic, they had to make do by using human teeth for replacements . . . meaning the teeth of the dead. They not only used other people’s teeth to fill the gap, but animal teeth as well!

Viking Teeth In Battle

Scandinavian Vikings battled the inhabitants of the towns they raided, and they made sure their teeth reflected this. The Vikings used to etch ridges in the surface of their teeth and paint these grooves red in order to intimidate their enemies. They also made necklaces of their baby teeth to bring them good luck in battle.

Pearly Black Teeth

In several Asian countries, women used to stain their teeth black with an iron based dye. This practice is called ohaguro in Japan, and doing so was a sign of maturity showing that a woman was married. It is also thought that women blackened their teeth because they often wore white face powder that would make white teeth appear yellow. Though teeth blackening is an archaic practice, it has shown some revival in recent years.

Shark Teeth

Women in the Mentawai Islands of Indonesia have an unusual practice with their teeth. When they reach puberty, they file their teeth to points so they look like a shark! This is considered beautiful, and the islanders believe that if the soul doesn’t like how the body looks then it will grow ill and die. The Mentawai still keep this tradition today, and parts of Asia, Mesoamerica, and Africa had similar practices in the past.