Deal Breakers: Teeth


Last year I went out with Harrison, who I’d met online. The first night I met him I came out of my building and there he was, standing in front of his (very nice) car waiting for me. He wasn’t as tall as he’d claimed, but he was taller than me, so no big deal. Overall he looked exactly like his photo except that he was wearing glasses. This was a nice bonus because, I absolutely love glasses on a man. I jumped into the passenger seat and we zipped downtown for a movie. Harrison opened doors, led me by the small of my back… basically made me feel like a girl (which we all know I love).

As we entered the movie theater I was standing in front of him on the escalator. He said something to me so I turned around to look at him. That’s when I got a direct view into his mouth and realized he was missing at least two teeth towards the front! The missing teeth were on his left side which made them easy to miss when I was sitting in the passenger seat of the car.

I realize that the condition of a persons smile can vary based on a number of things. It can be a reflection of personal style (gold teeth), bad habits (smoking) or lack of access to proper/affordable care. But that doesnt make poor dental hygeiene excusable. I’ve never seen anyone in my office with a gold tooth. I’ve never seen a politician with missing teeth and I’ve never met a person who didnt want a whiter/brighter smile.

Not that a person has to have perfect teeth. My sisters tell me that I have “rabbit teeth” because my two front teeth are slightly larger than the others. But all of my teeth are accounted for and they’re all white, thanks to those little strips and my regular dentist appointments.

Teeth are important but… are they a Deal Breaker?

I really want to say no, because teeth are fixable. If a guy is tall and interesting, but has awful teeth, my instinct would be to stay patient. There are a plenty of options for a person who is trying to create a decent, if not perfect smile. Of course, it costs money and you have to be willing to make that investment….

About a week after that first date, Harrison called me to tell me that he’d taken the day off of work because of a tooth ache. Then he informed me that he’d made an appointment to get the tooth extracted.

Another one bites the dust.

If I was going to go any further with Harrison, we’d have to address the fact that his teeth kept falling out. I took a deep breath, “Are you going to be okay?”

“Yes, I’ll be fine. This isnt the first time I’ve had an extraction.”

I couldn’t even pretend to act surprised, but I wasnt going to let up. “Well, are they going to give you some sort of replacement or implant for the missing teeth?”

“Cece, that stuff costs money. Unless you have two grand you want to give me,” he laughed.

I didn’t know what to say, Harrison had been driving his (very nice) car for less than six months. His teeth had been dropping like flies for years, but his financial priorities weren’t to get his dental situation covered. Instead he bought a car, which in New York City is not a real necessity.

That’s when I realized that Harrisons missing teeth may not have been the issue. Its what they represented. Call me crazy, but the reality is that you can only get so far in life with a mouth full of gaping holes. If a guy is okay with only being able to get “so far” in life then he may not be the man for me.

Having bad teeth isn’t always something that can be controlled, but it is something that can be addressed. And I would rather be with a man who takes the subway, smiling proudly the whole way, than a man who covers his toothless grin while driving around in a (very nice) car.

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  • Danielle

    I admit teeth are a deal breaker for me too. Maybe because I had dental hygiene drilled in my head since I was a kid. Gaps or an overbite are one thing but missing teeth? I have to pass and have passed on dating someone because of it. lol

  • Adam

    "Another one bites the dust" LMAO

  • janelle

    teeth are a deal breaker for me if you have less than stellar teeth and made no active plans to correct the situation.
    as a child,
    oral hygiene wasn't emphasized,
    and i'm paying for it now.
    but it's now a priority.
    the fact that he doesn't seem too bothered with getting an extraction is a problem.
    i learned the hard way that oral hygiene is indicative of your overall hygiene and health.
    brushing, flossing, and regular visits are a must,
    no matter how fine you are!

  • Becca Christensen

    This post made me laugh out loud at work. Love.


  • Secretia

    I understand how you feel. I'd feel that wau too.
    Well, a nice Thanksgiving to you!


  • juliette

    While I'm not a fan of missing teeth either, your argument sounded kind of like the one paople make suggesting that people lose weight. Basically, what you choose to spend your money on is what you choose to spend your money on. So, while I basically agree with your premise, I also think that perhaps a discussion with the fellow in question might not be out of the question if he's appropriate in other ways. Maybe he's scared. And, until recently, it was pretty easy to get a car on credit but alot of people dont' have dental coverage. Not saying it's right, but it's real. Nothing changes if we don't discuss it.

  • Soul_Sunshine

    AMEN!!! Teeth are a deal breaker! I totally understand that dental insurance is EXPENSIVE but so is a car and if you can make car payments you can make some kind of arrangements on your teeth. I mean it's all about preference, I mean if a man said that you know your weight is an issue, I can't date you, would I be a hurt or upset…honestly yes, but not for long cause to each his or her own.

  • Ariel

    What Juliette said.

  • Mair

    Hey Cece,
    Hello from Philly!
    This post struck a chord with me because before I met my wonderful husband, bad teeth were definitely a deal breaker for me. When I was online dating, I refused to meet people if they sent me closed-mouth pictures that looked like they were hiding something! I also dated a guy when I was studying in Central America who lost one of his two front teeth while I was there and I avoided him like the plague after that!!
    My husband and I had one of those romantic love-at-first-sight meetings that make most people want to puke..ha.. so things progressed from meeting to living together to engagement and marriage in about a year. I can't really say that his teeth were something I had to overcome or overlook because I knew right away that he was my forever-guy.
    He had two big cavities – one on each of his canines, so they were visible when he smiled! This was a result of having no health insurance after he left the Navy, being a poor undergrad, and bad genes (I found out his dad (a very successful lawyer in New England) had to have the same teeth extracted when he was in his 20s).
    Happily, we teamed up and got his teeth fixed before the wedding!
    So I guess this is my very long-winded way of stating the obvious — when you meet the right guy…whether he's a little shorter, fatter, poorer than you'd like…you'll know you should keep him around :)
    Happy Thanksgiving!

  • chitowncheryl

    I agree about the teeth. I had my 4 bottom front teeth removed and had to go w/o them for 3 wks while the gums healed! It was a mortifying time, but NEVER in my wildest dreams did I not anticpate not getting replacements! I didn't care who didn't get paid! It was bad enough getting invites to events and not going b/c my teeth were missing!
    That man needs to prioritze! TEETH! Go GET "EM!

  • KB in NYC

    Missing teeth= Total deal breaker.

    In fact, bad teeth in general. Poor Harrison. A nice car will only get you so far.


    PS I loved Mair's story. Love +good teeth. Brilliant!

  • Girl of True Heart

    You stated it perfectly. It was that it wasn't higher on his list of priorities than a new car. I'd be shocked as well. This isn't Hickseed Iowa.

  • Mizz P

    Oh my, I'm glad I read this post. Teeth are a deal breaker. I actually have an associate from school who is very nice and flirtswith me all the time. But he has a gold tooth right in the front of his mouth! And he wants to teach children!!! Its not happening, I am not going to be the one to tell him about that because honestly I feel he is old enough should already know! Plus I just dont like it, which really sucks.

  • What’s Haute


  • teeth whitening

    Hello yeah the teeth are pretty important for the time of business the people pay close attention to this details .

  • Vicki Nicole

    his teeth have been dropping like flies, OMG that made me laugh so loud

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  • Nini Jsf

    I love that post, I laugh so much while reading it, 😀

  • Wesley Wells

    sometimes you really cant help it. sometimes you are low on funds and cant get them replaced every dental office in wv is either full pay out of pocket or insurance based seeing that missing teeth outshines sometime who is in perfect shape kind hardworking perfect personality is rediculous missing teeth doesnt represent anything other than not brushing you people are ignorant people saying you wouldnt hire someone at a company or date someone because they are missing teeth just proves you are all horrible shallow aweful people you all need to take a close look at urselfs im sure at least half you are overweight liars drinkers smokers cheaters just downright nasty people missing teeth is not a personality problem or a sign anyone is lazy or irresponsible stop talking out of ur asses and read up on tooth decay problems and prices of denttal care

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  • Lilian Grae

    “Call me crazy, but the reality is that you can only get so far in life with a mouth full of gaping holes. ” Some people would say the same thing about being overweight.

  • THill

    For the people taking jabs at her weight…calm down, its okay haha. He knew what her size was as she was not hiding it. However, he deliberately went out of his way to hide his teeth!

  • Bárbara Paula Acosta Pérez

    So THEY shouldn’t be overweight.