Joe Dolce: Toothsome

Toothsome   Chaucer wrote of the gap-toothed wife of Bath, suggesting lustful characteristics of the diastema.   Dents du Bonheur. Lucky teeth. Soldiers in Napoleon’s army, holding rifles with two hands, required perfect incisors, for use in opening powder magazines. Gap-toothed men were classified unfit to fight. Some broke theirs to avoid war.   The Passion gap, or Cape Flats smile. South African fashion modification. Fishermen removed the front ones to whistle louder to one another. Popular, for 1500 years, it brought beliefs of improved oral sex and kissing. Peer pressure, and gangsterism, made it rite of passage for poor…

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