Dating with dentures
April 9, 2010 3:56 PM   Subscribe

I've got a partial upper denture (front 6 teeth) at the moment, probably for another 2 or 3 months before they can put the permanent fix in. Would it be best to stop dating until then? They're don't look that bad (and better than what was there before), but I feel that the idea of dentures at all might be too much for most people my age. I'm in my 20s and male.
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (18 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Eh. Don't worry about it; continue dating as normal.

As a 24 y/o woman, I'd probably be a bit squicked out if you removed it as we're chatting at the bar for the first time. However, if it's not noticeable otherwise, I wouldn't think that much of it if you mentioned it after the 2nd or 3rd date (unless there's a dramatic reason for me to think something of it-- say, it falls out at an inopportune moment... highly unlikely).

I might stray a bit from the word "denture" -- consider "temporary bridge."
posted by samthemander at 4:00 PM on April 9, 2010 [6 favorites]

No big deal. Carry on business as usual, don't make a point of discussing your dental health.
posted by halogen at 4:02 PM on April 9, 2010

Short and long answer: no. Don't worry about it.

but I feel that the idea of dentures at all might be too much for most people my age.

Tell her "you should see the other guy" and smile big.
posted by three blind mice at 4:03 PM on April 9, 2010 [2 favorites]

Date. Don't worry about it. Use it as a method of weeding out potentials; if they freak, they aren't worth dating anyway. There's no reason to take yourself off the market simply because you have an unusual tooth thing. Besides, the worst that could happen is that someone could say something like "Ew, dentures are gross!" or "I'm not going to date you because you wear dentures." Both comments reflect poorly on the commenter, not on you.
posted by incessant at 4:03 PM on April 9, 2010

I have, for some reason, known many toothless young men. One just wasn't born with many teeth and had a bridge but he kept breaking it. One lost the teeth in an accident and lost his bridge and then just sort of hung out toothless. Both seemed to date a normal amount. I think the only thing that would make me curious is wondering what the story was. I assume you have some short "this is why I do not have these teeth" patter in case people ask. If not, maybe get one.

I agree that "temporary bridge" is a better term than dentures, and no I don't think most people would mind at all. If anything, to me, getting dental work done indicates you are, at some basic level, taking care of yourself. People's bodies are full of weirdness, yours is just more visible than what other people have, don't worry about it. It will only be as weird to most people as you make it seem.
posted by jessamyn at 4:04 PM on April 9, 2010 [4 favorites]

One lost the teeth in an accident and lost his bridge and then just sort of hung out toothless. Both seemed to date a normal amount.

I also knew a guy just like this. He was kind of a very charismatic street punk type. He was missing the front two teeth and didn't seem to care much to do anything about it. It didn't stop him from getting girls.
posted by Ashley801 at 4:15 PM on April 9, 2010

I was missing my front two teeth after a bike accident for about a year and a half. Granted, I had a girlfriend before the crash, and she was with me until after the implants were finished, but it wasn't a big deal even at night.
posted by kcm at 4:23 PM on April 9, 2010

Don't worry about it. I (female, fwiw) had upper dentures from the time I was three until I was 21 or so, and the times it became necessary to tell dates about them it just ranged from light conversation fodder to non-issue. (Looking back on it ten years later, I actually wish I had kept the dentures rather than going for a permanent fix, for lots of reasons.)
posted by frobozz at 4:26 PM on April 9, 2010

Don't refrain from dating over this one thing. You just need to focus on your framing. Don't lead with "dentures." That's framing it to be as offputting as possible. Lead with the fact that it's this temporary dental thing, just for the next couple months until you get such-and-such. If you must refer to them as "dentures," do it with a sense of humor and only after you've given the explanation.

And don't give it a dramatic build-up about how there's something you should know about me ... Find a time to mention it the way you might mention any of life's little hassles you've been dealing with lately. It's not a deep, dark secret. Not unless you think of it as one, that is.
posted by Jaltcoh at 4:46 PM on April 9, 2010 [1 favorite]

it is actually very likely that it won't be noticed.. not a big deal...
posted by HuronBob at 5:08 PM on April 9, 2010

I'm going to take a not-so-wild guess that if you're worried about your dental situation as it relates to dating, then you're probably overly concerned with what other people think about you in general. That's something that will hurt your dating game much more than wearing a silly dental appliance or having no teeth at all.

If this is the case for you, consider seeing a therapist or a dating coach to work on your self-esteem / self-consciousness issues. You'll be glad you did! Confidence comes from within (your mind--not your mouth!), and women like a confident man.
posted by brain at 5:12 PM on April 9, 2010

I'm not much older (early 30's), female and have full fledged dentures. I date up a storm. It has never been a problem. (at least any relationship I had that broke up hasn't been about the dentures as far as I know). As with any "odd" body thing don't let it be the first thing out of your mouth (heh..pun!) on the first date and all will be well.

I do understand where you are coming from as when I was debating getting mine I was equating denture with no sex/relationships ever again! But I can tell you that has proven not to be the case for me and in fact I am enjoying myself more as I have more confidence in opening my mouth and smiling than I did before. More confidence = sexier.

So IMO don't put dating on hold. Put yourself out there. Smile. Be confident. You, yourself, just said that you look better now than before. So take advantage of that and move forward. No sense for putting your life on hold for something I swear that 99.9% of people won't be able to notice at all anyway.
posted by kanata at 5:23 PM on April 9, 2010

Pretty much what kanata said. Especially about the confidence.

I was born with a milder form of a pretty nasty birth defect, the symptoms of which included fucked-up teeth. I only ever had 18 or 19 permanent teeth. The last of my baby teeth were yanked when I was 34. The permanents that did come in were weak and brittle, a few of them broke off at the gum level. My four front teeth on the top were missing for about eight years.

Once I started to do something about it, my life increased dramatically. And it only got better once I completed the work.

The time between starting to do something about it and completion was almost a decade1 and I don't think it ever came up with any viable candidate. I did get a few snide remarks every so often but I came to the conclusion that anyone shallow enough to make it a thing would not be sharing my bed any time soon.

1I was raised very poor and it took forever for me to work up to a job with good enough benefits.
posted by geckoinpdx at 7:20 PM on April 9, 2010 [1 favorite]

Don't worry about it. Remind yourself that hockey players do just fine with the ladies and (even at the undergraduate level) many of those guys are wearing partials as well.
posted by availablelight at 8:03 PM on April 9, 2010

I dated a guy with no upper teeth at all. He hid this by growing a mustache, and I didn't notice until he told me. Might take some practice to pull that one off.

I'd say the only downside of dating at this time might be that you could start going out with someone who discovers how nice a lack of teeth can be for certain things and then dissuades you from getting the permanents.
posted by yohko at 8:29 PM on April 9, 2010

Don't avoid dating, but my thought about flaws is that I wait to talk about them until I can work it into the conversation in a funny or charming way or at least lighthearted. "My life sucks, my dog kicked my teeth out", well, not so much. "I'm missing half of my teeth, but you should see the other guy" said with a wink and a smile--is a bonus. It shows that you're crazy confident, and you're positive about life, and people love that.
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 9:53 PM on April 9, 2010

yeah, just own it! i had a killer chipped front tooth i had to live with for a month (think jim carrey in dumb and dumber, i even whistled), and it did the *opposite* of what i thought it would do -- people were bananas for a gal who could rock a broken tooth like it ain't no thing. i didn't get it, but i didn't complain! go have fun! :)
posted by crawfo at 6:57 AM on April 10, 2010

Look, everyone has flaws. Everyone. Even "flawless" celebrities have to be airbrushed and made-up out the wazoo so they LOOK flawless. But they aren't.

Chances are, the people you'll be dating will have flaws they are self-conscious about, as well. So take it easy, you don't need to bring up the topic of teeth/bridges/dentures - just concentrate on having fun and meeting someone compatible, flaws and all.
posted by Rosie M. Banks at 7:32 AM on April 10, 2010

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