It might seem obvious but scientists at the University of Leeds have been working hard to prove that having white teeth is a sign of good health and it makes you more attractive to the opposite sex. It seems that human teeth are used in the same way that peacock’s use their feathers in the animal kingdom, to advertise health and genetic superiority when finding a mate.
In a study carried out by both the University of Leeds and the University of Central Lancashire, computers were used to digitally change the colour and spacing of model’s teeth using three different shades – yellow/brown, healthy white, and startling white. The altered photographs were then shown to 150 men and women to see which were deemed the most attractive. Not surprisingly, the yellow teeth were not popular and also widely spaced teeth were found to be unattractive, but heavily bleached teeth were not found to be significantly more desirable than a natural shade of enamel – at least on women, anyway.
The research revealed that the condition of women’s teeth seemed to be more important when trying to find a partner. Psychologist at Leeds University, Colin Hendrie, said that teeth had quite a big effect on males when they were looking at females, ‘Males are thinking about attraction and females are in competition with each other’, he explains. It is believed that women’s teeth are an indication of their age and fertility, as well as giving some clues to diet, childhood illnesses and certain genetic disorders.