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Online guy I've been chatting with is missing his teeth and it turns me off. What should I do?

Tagged as: Health, Online dating<< Previous question   Next question >>
Question - (14 May 2015) 12 Answers - (Newest, 19 May 2015)
A female United States age 51-59, anonymous writes:

Well I don't want to sound rude but want to know your thoughts and maybe some suggestions I met a guy online and we've been talking for about two months now. I really like him and he seems real nice so far. I would like to further our relationship but I haven't seen him in person because he lives in another state. Today he sent me a video and he is missing a lot of his teeth and that made me feel uncomfortable. I don't know why he hasn't taken care of his teeth. I always like people thAt take good care of themselves specially their teeth. I don't know how to talk to him about this... do you have any suggestions?

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A reader, anonymous, writes (19 May 2015):

I think you might be doing the guy a favor by telling him you're turned off by his teeth.

Yes, he knows about the teeth issue, but he may not realize that some women care so much about them.

If you do it gently I don't think you'll hurt his feelings. After all, this is something he can work on.

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A male reader, Code Warrior United States + , writes (16 May 2015):

Code Warrior agony auntI've seen quite a few aunts state that you shouldn't mention the teeth because he already knows about them and you shouldn't rub it in. There is a big difference between telling him that he has bad teeth and that bad teeth are a deal breaker for you. Telling him he has bad teeth is pointless since he already knows that. Telling him that bad teeth are a deal breaker for you lets him know that he must choose to deal with them if he wants to have a chance with you. I don't think you should make up some reason to lie to him and leave him thinking that his bad teeth are not the issue when they clearly are.

Telling someone something about themselves that they already know can be pointless and rude. Telling someone how that something affects you personally is not pointless and rude as long as it's done without insult and done to inform them how it will impact your relationship.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (16 May 2015):

Well I would answer politely, then fizzle it out. Don't mention his teeth

He already knows they are missing. If it's a turn off for you move on. :-) ( ps. It would be for me too). X

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A female reader, maverick494 United States +, writes (16 May 2015):

Honeypie offered some really good insights. Bad teeth can definitely point to a financial problem, which, like she pointed out, will also be a problem for an LDR if he ever wants to visit you.

Taking care of your teeth is part of taking care of yourself. And I don't expect everybody to have perfectly straight pearly whites, but when half your teeth are missing, something's wrong.

My best friend's ex had like 3 teeth left when she got to know him. She met him online and decided to give him a chance despite this. He told her it was bad genetics and a phobia of dentistry. After a while she suggested for him to do something about it, like going to a therapist for help with his phobia and saving up for dentures or something like it. He said he had some financial difficulties. Turned out he had massive debts and he was in complete denial about it. Stopped paying fines too, so everything was just getting worse.

I'm not saying your guy is the same kind of disaster. I also don't know how old he is, so he could just be a victim of the horrid dentistry in the 60's and 70's that ruined a lot of kids' mouths back then. But a lot of times, this kind of neglect points to a bigger problem.

As for where to go from here, it depends on how big a dealbreaker those teeth are for you. If he hasn't gotten dentures by now, it'll probably take quite some time before he will, if ever. What you see is what you get.

You can of course, broach the subject, if you feel brave enough. Others have pointed out that he himself is probably painfully aware of the state of his teeth, no need to rub it in, but it's a convo that would come up somewhere along the line anyway, so it might be better to have it before you get attached.

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A female reader, Honeypie United States + , writes (16 May 2015):

Honeypie agony auntTO aprilh

It sounds nice to say, date a person for what's on the inside... BUT EVERY single HUMAN being (and most animals) DO have certain turn on and turn off. It's biology.

IF you aren't physically attracted to someone, BE their friend if you get along, but WHY date them? Since dating CAN lead to mating and offspring. At least that is SORT of the point to find a long term mate.

There is a REASON a male peacock with a full tail of perfect feathers get the girl peahens... This makes sense in evolutionary terms -- the largest tail would indicate a healthy bird and a better chance for healthy offspring.

You might find TALL men more attractive than shorter ones, brown eyes over blue, bald over a full head of hair.

While an ATTRACTIVE personality is GOLD, most people want THAT + someone that physically speak to them. And there is nothing wrong in that.

Would you be with a guy who was dating you for your personality? But he can't get it up in bed because he isn't attracted to you physically? That would suck, right? Same for the OP and missing teeth.

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A female reader, aprilh United States +, writes (15 May 2015):

I've always thought that you shouldn't date someone on what they look like but on how they are on the inside cause all and all that's what really matters cause you could be missing out on a really good guy ??

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A female reader, mystiquek United States + , writes (15 May 2015):

mystiquek agony auntI don't blame you for not being attracted. Whatever his reasons may be it certainly would be off putting to most people seeing someone missing alot of teeth.

I don't believe you need to point it out to the man though. I agree that he's well aware of what he looks like. I'd go the gentler route of saying that you've thought it over and just feel that you don't think a long distance relationship is for you.

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A male reader, olderthandirt  +, writes (15 May 2015):

olderthandirt agony auntI would never recomend you even ing up the subject of teeth.i would imagine he is painfully aware of his problem and has probably punished himself enough over the subject without more help. Why can't you just tactfully tell him you have met this great guy in your town that has turned your head and hope the two of you can remain good 'pen pals' He'll get the hint and although you may never hear from him again, At least you won't have made his tooth issue into yet more guilt he has to bear. But on an upnote think of all the money he's making from the tooth fairy.Malama Pono and good luck

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A male reader, Code Warrior United States + , writes (15 May 2015):

Code Warrior agony auntI think you tell him that his teeth are a deal breaker and you will understand if he thinks you're shallow. You're not shallow, I think appearance is just as valid a reason as any other to assess whether or not to date someone. You're simply acknowledging that you understand that some people may think it may be shallow without agreeing with that premise.

While you can lie and make some other excuse, chances are that he will just try to offer ways to counter the excuse. Telling him the truth may upset him, but it may also make him realize that it's not attractive. You should also be honest about whether or not dentures would help, since potentially kissing him with or without them might be disgusting for you and he shouldn't waste money on them if they're not going to help.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (15 May 2015):

This is verified as being by the original poster of the question

Thank you honeypie, I also think that if it was me, even though I'm not that rich, I would save up for my dentures. So, I don't understand.

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A female reader, Honeypie United States + , writes (14 May 2015):

Honeypie agony auntHonestly, it would be a turn off for me too. Same as someone who looks unkempt/dirty. I mean a guy have have "scraggly beard" or a few days worth of stubble - and STILL look groomed. But missing teeth?

One of my BIL's exwife was addicted to pain killers and the way she GOT these painkiller (after my BIL cut of her from using their savings) was to have teeth pulled. She had half a mouth full of teeth and it was.... NOT attractive. She was in her early 30's... *shudder*

I think if you already feel like you don't want to go forward with this guy, tell him. Maybe not point out the missing teeth, you can let him down in a nicer way - use the distance instead. (yeah I know it's not totally HONEST, but no need to kick this guy in the teeth... those he have left)

I know that getting dentures can be costly, but if it was ME personally who were missing A LOT of teeth I would be "vain" enough to save up for dentures. So is the missing teeth also a sign of poor financial circumstances? (not saying that a guy HAS to have money in order to date, BUT a guy dating a lady out of State KINDA needs to be able to afford a trip there to visit her, or to take her out while she was visiting him....

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (14 May 2015):

Yes, the suggestion is move on and find a guy who HAS teeth!

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