Not broken. Don’t fix.

Great Design February 23, 2012 1
Not broken. Don’t fix.

Why are parents so quick to “correct” this dental beauty mark called diastema? It may have something to do with a Palladian sense of order, an issue of symmetry more than visual interest.


As early as the 14th century the gap between the front teeth, especially in women, was associated with lustful characteristics. Rumor has it that the space allowed for an open glance at a moving tongue. Oh, the shame it must have brought to the family.


While Americans seem to have a love affair with straight teeth, many West Africans see the gap as a sign of sexiness. Globally, it’s most seen as a hillbilly badge of honor.


Facebook has a group titled “Diastema is Sexy,” so you know it’s got to be true.


As with many great trends (see the Beastie boys transforming from rockers to rappers in their early days) this one seemed to regain popularity with humor. Former NY Giant Michael Strahan has had his orthadontal void ridiculed for years. Maybe it’s time for the Super Bowl champ to head to SoHo for a career change. 


  • CArender

    A wonderful insight to our now different perceptions of what makes beauty. Unfortuneatly it leans oh so close to perfection, which is impossible.