Because minds are weird, mention the term ‘teeth’ and invariably the word association ‘vampire’ pops up. Indeed, New York City band Vampire Weekend has a track called ‘Unbearably White’.

Not that it has anything to do with teeth; although it could be, and it’s human nature to look for patterns. Small things have us believe we understand the world, and that the universe is in fact working with us, not against us.

Cherry-pick the lines: “don’t cover your eyes/it’s what you thought you wanted/it’s still a surprise/it’s hard on the body”; and this song is still about a catastrophically failing relationship, but it’s the one we’re currently having with our teeth.

It seems that we perceive teeth, like the flash of blinding new romance, should be perfect.

Carl Jung would have had quite a time with that. Possibly the psychoanalyst equivalent to a complimentary long weekend in a mountain retreat, where smoking pipes and cigars inside is not only de rigueur but actively encouraged.

It has a remarkable sound, Vampire Weekend.

Formed in 2006 as a preppy band, frontman Ezra Koenig soon realised that like a Hollywood smile, that was a misjudged aesthetic for him. Ultimately, and as one of the underrated bands of the 2000s, what this trio (with Christopher Baio and Chris Tomson) produces can be melancholic, poetic and anthemic. Baroque pop, reggae and chamber music are part of the signature of this high-energy indie outfit. As a rock band its lyric formation is stratum: literature, history and popular culture lay languid and adjacent in every track, with barely a bedding plane between.

Because the world is such a curious place and we like to find complex equivalence to make the ordinary extraordinary, Ezra Koenig’s father-in-law is the quintessential Quincy Jones, being that his wife is daughter Rashida. It means of course (if you’re familiar with the keeping up with the Joneses) that not only does Koenig have a hotline to the legendary 28-time Grammy winner, urban culture visionary QD3 is his brother-in-law. Tommy Hilfiger protégée and successful designer Kidada is his sister-in-law, if he’s ever stuck with what to wear.

These are connections with teeth, and what teeth they are. Naturally so, it seems; although undoubtedly good dental care is involved. So good, that if there are extensive veneers throughout this extended family, it all looks as though there isn’t.

That’s good dentistry.

The Father of Diamond Dentistry, LA billionaire Dr Thomas Connelly, has taken the unbearable brightness of teeth to a whole other completely unbearably unbearable level, where $US1.2 million can be spent on aesthetic prosthetics just because you can.

Ye went yo to upper and lower full-piece permanent platinum dentition which questions the very definition of ‘brightness’ on every level. His next reveal must surely be that it’s his patented weight loss treatment, available at kanyewestmerchshop.com with a free ‘Jesus Is King’ hoodie with every $US950,000 purchase.

Sure, the platinum won’t stain no matter how many spliffs he has, or Starbucks he drinks: his pearly greys will remain impervious to discolouration. He could chew betel nut all day if he wanted to only there’s yet to be proof he can chew.

It used to be that having good, strong, straight white teeth was entirely up to the gene genie. Now it can be a conjured up by the skilful hand of any number of dental professionals. From general to cosmetic to orthodontic; periodontal and prosthodontal, to maxillofacial and all the peripherals, there is no reason other than buckets of money to not have the most perfectly perfect smile.

And if you don’t want a perfect one, there’s a dentist for that too.

French orthodontist Dr Didier Fillion is affectionately nicknamed ‘the Artist’ by his colleagues, having perfected the ‘perfectly imperfect smile’ after practicing the lingual technique exclusively, for more than thirty years.

It is he that Kate Middleton has to thank, for creating hers as the most coveted smile in the world.

No doubt that would be hard for Ye to swallow. But so is food.

What makes the perfect smile is differently defined in Europe and the US; but either way, the Princess of Wales has it. All due to the micro-movements lingual braces achieved, choreographed by Dr Fillion over many months prior to her April 2011 wedding.

Americans like frighteningly whiter-than-white, dental uniformity as the mark of looking good. The favoured extreme tooth bleaching and veneer vandalism is best satirised in the apocalyptic black comedy ‘Don’t Look Up’ – which could have quite rightly had the subtitle ‘And Don’t Look Up My Dentist’.

Cate Blanchett’s character US co-host Brie Evantee(th) has such oversized, ultra-even, luminously white teeth, that the cartoonish prosthetics render the two-time Oscar winner almost unrecognisable. The structure of her face is effectively changed by widening her mouth into a permanently fixed grin, which consequently chipmunks her cheeks and narrows her eyes.

Evantee(th) is not the only one with dental disproportion in this allegory for climate change inaction.

Actor Mark Rylance, whose character seems an ambulant petri dish of the biggest tech-egos of our time, sports an over-bright overbite that has this traditional signifier of well-heeled wellness bring to mind Dr Gerald Teeth Jr of ‘The Electric Mayhem’.

So Hollywood is this fake version of a smile, it’s actually now the name of a popular US dental treatment, which offers three types. There are Hollywood Smile veneers, Hollywood Smile Zirconium, and Emax Smile Makeover that uses lithium disilicate ceramic for biological-like translucency and borderline bankruptcy.

Europeans are much less enamoured by the idea of a catalogue smile that’s more porcelain than personality. The preference is for a natural configuration of length, and colour that steers the palette closer to bone white than chalk white, were it a web colour shade chart for reference.

So vast is this difference in the dental ideal, British Master of Many Things, Ricky Gervais was complimented by a US journalist for having the guts to wear such unflattering false teeth as an English dentist in ‘Ghost Town’.

Naturally, he wasn’t wearing anything. And he has vampire teeth.

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