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What is Ohaguro or black teeth?

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What if we talk today about an ancient teeth tradition called Ohaguro? This is the name given to the ancestral dental aesthetic in the Japanese culture. It means black teeth (お歯黒) and it was a practiced between married women, and was related to spiritual beliefs.

At the beginning, the Ohaguro was carried out by the women in the royalty, but then both men and women were using this practice as a fashion tendency, but it was still related to spirituality.

Actually the Ohaguro has many uses and meanings, for example: The Kamuros (the brothel apprentices) painted their teeth black to refer that they have reached adulthood, and that they were ready to have their first client.

Another meanings are: Purity and status. Some of this meanings were not related. For many years the Ohaguro was exclusively by women, because they were supposed to be loyal and obedient to their husbands.

The Ohaguro was also created to protect themselves from bad spirits and omens, because they used to think that the diseases were caused by evil possessions. It was thought that the white of the bone would attract of bad luck and energies, this is why the royalty decided to paint their teeth black, also to be different from others, but as we said, eventually all kind of people follow this as fashion.

As you may see the Ohaguro has had a lot of connotations. To get the black tint for the teeth they used iron powder, cinnamon, and aromatic spices to achieve the lacquered appearance. With the time many other countries decided to follow this tendency, everyone of them had their reasons, some for beauty, other for religion, culture, social status, belief and for health. This countries and regions were: China, Malasia, Laos, Micronesia, India, and also Vietman. Until this days some places still practice the Ohaguro, even when they are not the majority.

Teeth have been always a beauty standard, for example, here in the occident having white and perfect teeth is one of the qualities when you say that someone is attractive, this is why is so important to use brackets as a kid or teenager, or to do regular whitening, this is what some beauty and Hollywood magazines call appeal; another example is the tribe Mentawai from Indonesia, in that place women used to be forced to sharpen their teeth, this was an aesthetic symbol.

In present day there also exists anti-cultural movements, another example as we mentioned is Japan, some people there think that having irregular teeth are pretty, especially in girls and women, because they look innocent and with a child face. But in another post we will talk more about it.

In Japan it was consider vanity to express human emotions, including facial expressions, to dissimulate this emotions, they painted their face white, this was another function of the Ohaguro, so anyone would not identify if they were smiling of feeling sad. Every culture has their own traditions and customs, for more strange they are.

And finally, what do you think about this tradition? Do you think is interesting?

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How can soda affect my teeth?

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Consuming soda can affect eventually your teeth, this is something that can happen to the youngest and to the oldest.

The acids and the sugar of this drinks can affect the tooth enamel, and contributes to the formation of cavities. Some other bad habits that can damage your teeth are clenching your teeth and a wrong hygiene, like do not brushing your teeth in the right way.

Some sodas like the light coke have less sugar, but although that they usually contains acids and many other elements that can affect your health.

This are some diseases that can be caused by an excess consumption of sugar:

Dental diseases:

  1. Cavities
  2. Loss of strenght in your teeth
  3. Loss of enamel
  4. Tooth fall

Body diseases:

  1. Diabetes
  2. Obesity
  3. Arterial hypertension
  4. Cardiovascular diseases

Mental diseases:

  1. Depression
  2. Schizophrenia
  3. Dementia
  4. Adictions


The consume of this drinks has increase dramatically in the United States, mainly in kids and teenagers. Actually doctors and pediatricians has started campigns to promote better healthy habbits, and to warn parents to take better care of them.

It is estimated that teenagers drink at least 12 drinks per day, and kids 4 every day, this is why having coke or soda in your everyday diet is dangerous for your own health. This is not something that just affect your teeth, it can also damage your general health, you can develop diabetes, stop growing and cause several problems to your streght and bones, not mentioning that a sedentary routine can be harmful for your kids.

But what you can do to take care of your oral hygiene?

  1. First, you will have to reduce the quantity of energy drinks and soda that you consume, eventually you will not just take care of your teeth, you will also feel better, with more energy, and it is something natural to lose weight.
  2. Wash your teeth with fluoride and pasta, also use mouthwash at least one time a day. You have to clean your teeth with your toothbrush two or three times. The fluoride strengthens the enamel and reduce cavities.
  3. If you still consume coke or soda, wash your mouth with water to remove the waste.
  4. Fill your refrigerator with healthy beverages, like water, natural juice, and tea. The key is to vary the options you see everyday in front of you, you can be a role model for your children.
  5. Schedule an appointment with your dentist at least three times a year, depending on the results you notice.

In some countries it is not important to have a dental and oral health, because they think that it is not so damaging as cancer or HIV AIDS, or something that can cause death, but they ignore that the mouth is one of the most important body parts and systems in each one of us.

At last but not least, you should know that consuming soda in special occasions is not damaging, it is like everything, if you always consume tobacco, hamburguers, alcohol, you will eventually get tired and sick. Consuming soda is not recommended, but if you like it too much, just moderate it, and also follow your dentist instructions.

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