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Apparently Everyone Wants a Partner with Nice Teeth and Good Grammar?

We're all a bunch of Judge Mableans when it comes to sizing up possible partners, says an online survey of 5,481 singles ages 21 and older.

Apparently, when you assess a potential paramour, the first two things you rate are their teeth and grammar. Yes, grammar is more important than the clothes they wear or the car they drive. Honestly, this part can be seen as a beacon of hope for the future.

However, teeth. Are people really that picky about teeth? They're just teeth!

A single man who answered that "teeth are very important" said "Taking care of your teeth is a good indicator of hygiene." Biological anthropologist Helen Fisher, a research professor at Rutgers University and a adviser who helped develop the survey, agrees. "From a Darwinian perspective, good teeth are a real indication of your health — how much you drink, smoke, what you're eating," she says.

Maybe that's partially true, but aren't teeth usually just a sign of genetics and wealth? As someone who won the straight, white, never had a cavity KNOCK ON WOOD teeth lottery, I know first hand that conventionally attractive teeth can have absolutely nothing to do with hygiene. (I didn't start really brushing my teeth until college and still, I regularly skip evenings.)

Sure, not having teeth covered in last night's corn kernels is better than having teeth covered in last night's corn kernels, but is it possible that the rest is just good fortune? Did you get lucky with a straight pair of pearly white chompers, or did you grow up too poor to fix your snaggle tooth? Perhaps you can't afford the variety of expensive surgeries and fancy teeth whitening goods to get that healthy-looking smile? Commercials selling us teeth whitening products taught us a blinding grin is very important, so it must be true.

According to the survey, hair, clothes, nails, and tattoos (or lack thereof) are other things people get hella judgmental about. It'd be nice if people at least made it interesting and starting judging hairlines, pores, nail beds, and bad morning breath.

Perhaps these are things you judge someone on in the first few minutes of a date, but are teeth really THAT important? As someone who doesn't trust people with perfect teeth or grammar judgementalness (DON'T TEST ME), maybe I'm just opposite day in this equation. But I can't be alone?

When survey takers were asked their "Top Relationship Must Haves", there was more divergence between men and women.

Men want someone they can confide in, and women want someone who treats them with respect. Being physically attractive is important to a man, but it doesn't rank in the women's top 5. Evidently ladies prefer a sense of humor, shared values, and communication skills. Basically, it's reaffirming everything you've ever known about how men and women are supposed to act.

But seriously, teeth?

by Told you so!reply 2602/08/2013

Good God, I'd never date anyone with bad teeth.

Can you imagine going out with a guy with dentures.

DISGUSTING... I mean you'd kiss him and his teeth would fall out.

My grandmother once ate and her teeth slipped out. It fucking made me sick to look at her after that.

Forget about sex with missing teeth or fake dentures. The fake teeth and caps all look so bad. No one has teeth like that for real.

I mean you brush your teeth and that's that. But if you're that damn lazy, who knows what other diseases you got.

by Told you so!reply 102/05/2013

Teeth need not be perfect, but clean unstained teeth are at the top of my list. Along with neat fingernails, clean hair, and tidy personal grooming. Good grammar and decent manners are also important. I mean is that asking too much?

by Told you so!reply 202/05/2013

Lesbians are MAJOR sticklers for proper grammar.

by Told you so!reply 302/05/2013

Not Me!

by Told you so!reply 402/05/2013

I guess good teeth are a big deal to me because my were so bad in my youth. I had short face syndrome, which meant that they didn't show when I smiled. At 24 I had orthognathic surgery where they cut my jaw and maxilla and reset them. REALLY awful recovery. I was wired shut for SIX WEEKS. Terrible . . . but SO WORTH IT. I'd worn braces for 2 years before the surgery, but even after my jaw was broken and had healed I didn't like my natural teeth, so I them all crowned. It's totally absurd, but my teeth cost more than the house I'm currently living in.

by Told you so!reply 502/05/2013

Oh, and after getting my million dollar smile, I went out with a really good looking guy who used to say things like, "Guess who come into the shop today?"

He had a BEAUTIFUL smile and really was just hot a hell . . . but his grammar? Not so hot, and since I was a chemical engineer that just wasn't going to work. I felt bad because he liked me, but I dumped him.

by Told you so!reply 602/05/2013

Of course nice teeth are important. God, who wants to look at slimey yellow crooked teeth? No one!

by Told you so!reply 702/05/2013

Add me to the list of people who absolutely must have a partner with nice teeth.

So many meth heads and other freaks running around - gnarly teeth are pretty much the one thing they can't hide.

And who wants to kiss someone with a fucked up grill? Yuck.

by Told you so!reply 802/05/2013

So then how is it, that those with bad grammar & bad teeth wind up with partners, who have neither of these attributes & the teeth thing seems to not apply with countries known to have poor hygiene as they all have the same condition.You can brush & floss all you want & still get cavities & have a mouth full of silver color teeth can come or from taking certain antibiotics as a child ,which is nothing to do with hygiene. Every study has an agenda to prove the point of the study taker, they skew the study for the result they want.

by Told you so!reply 902/05/2013

Rotten teeth? No thanks.

Row of chiclets? Also no thanks.

by Told you so!reply 1002/05/2013

You don't get it, r9. We're not talking PERFECT teeth - just nice teeth.

Taken care of. A little stained or a bunch of filling/caps is no big deal. But when you have a weeks worth of food stuck in your gums (yes, I've seen it), that is disgusting.

Also meth mouth is fucking gross. Rotting teeth is nasty.

by Told you so!reply 1102/05/2013

The disbelief at the link baffles me. Good teeth and grammar are typically a sign of a good education. Not always, as the Jezebel writer is keen to point out, but a basic grasp of hygiene (clean teeth vs naturally nice but ignored teeth) and a similar class/educational background (which is what 'good grammar' partially implies) are key. It's basically saying that humans have boiled down years of observation to figuring out a shorthand way of saying 'someone who's like me and knows/cares enough to do the bare minimum of physical maintenance'.

by Told you so!reply 1202/06/2013

It's funny, though, some of the wealthiest snootiest people I know have imperfect teeth. These are people who are seated comfortably on top of the social order.

The "OMG MUST HAVE BIG WHITE PERFECT TEETH" thing seems to be more a fixation on those who have a lot of hunger to prove, or improve, their attractiveness and/or their socio-economic status.

I'm kind of turned off by the "blinding white teeth and botox forehead" look that I see on many women, and some men, in certain parts of Manhattan. I like good looking humans as much as anyone, but keep it real, people.

by Told you so!reply 1302/06/2013

R13, contrast those rich people with Ricky Gervais. One of the first things he did upon landing in Hollywood was to replace his canine fang. I felt kinship with him until then. I don't even know who he is anymore.

Sure enough, weight loss and chemical peels followed.

My point is that you are being marketed bright white chiclets when clean, gapless, well-maintained teeth are all that are required by people who matter.

by Told you so!reply 1402/06/2013

The bear bar in my town posts pictures of their Sunday beer bust. Christ my town is ass deep in ugly men.

by Told you so!reply 1502/06/2013


Our livelihoods seem to be in the hands of those who evaluate us in the same manner as they do horses --

"Obedient. Great teeth!"

by Told you so!reply 1602/06/2013

Yeah, I agree.

by Told you so!reply 1702/08/2013

What a shitty writer that woman is. And she has disgusting hygiene. Wouldn't date her.

by Told you so!reply 1802/08/2013

A guy posted a large photo on facebook of he and his boyfriend. The first thing I noticed was he had this nice pearly white teeth while his boyfriend, who was actually very good looking, had this darker color yellowish teeth. It kind of bothered me. I kept wanting to do some photoshop so they could match.

The lesson here if your teeth are less than white, do not take close up photos with someone who's with very white teeth. Only stand next to people whose teeth look like yours.

by Told you so!reply 1902/08/2013

Clean natural teeth? Yes. Blinding fluorescent teeth? No.

I do have some speech prejudices. Excessive use of "like." Hick accents, ebonics accents, etc. I suppose there are good people with those characteristics, but I usually use them to weed out the worst.

by Told you so!reply 2002/08/2013

[quote]if your teeth are less than white, do not take close up photos with someone who's with very white teeth. Only stand next to people whose teeth look like yours.

So that people like you with defective sensibilities aren't displeased?

by Told you so!reply 2102/08/2013

My ex had nasty brown teeth. A heavy smoker. He never smiled in photos. It was all I could focus on. After we broke up he started dating someone with shitty teeth as well.

by Told you so!reply 2202/08/2013

I once met the best looking little guy on a dark dance floor and began drinking with him at the bar and "thought" there might have been a shadow on his face but ignored it thinking it was the disco ball.

When we woke up in the morning, he had a DEAD FRONT TOOTH! Yeah, up on top, one of those two front teeth, DEAD and GRAY!

I was mortified. I scrambled him some eggs, told him I had to go to the office and pushed him out the door and then poured bleach into my mouth. YEchhhh!

by Told you so!reply 2302/08/2013

For the record, there is also something called being a "Tetracycline Baby".

In the 50s and early 60s, pregnant woman who had taken the antibiotic tetracycline gave their childreen dark yellow "Devil's teeth".

This was an unforseen sideaffect of the drug on pregnant women and wasn't determined until the children actually got their adult teeth. No amount of bleaching will lighten the color.

by Told you so!reply 2402/08/2013

Teeth are overrated.

by Told you so!reply 2502/08/2013

Meth mouth.

Thread closed.

by Told you so!reply 2602/08/2013
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