Did Pirates Really Have Gold Teeth Caps?

Did Pirates Really Have Gold Teeth Caps?

Have you ever wondered if pirates really had gold teeth caps? It's a common image that we see in movies and books—pirates with a mouth full of gold. But is it true? Well, let's take a look at what the evidence says about pirates and their use of gold teeth cap mouth jewelry.


Pirate with gold teeth


The short answer is... no! Contrary to popular belief, there is no evidence that pirates had gold teeth. In fact, it was very rare for people from any social class to have any dental work done in those days, let alone gold fillings or crowns. Historians and archaeologists have combed through the mound of evidence about pirates, but nothing indicates that any pirate ever had a golden smile. However, there are some interesting theories out there that suggest the possibility of gold teeth among certain pirate crews. It turns out there may be some truth to this age-old legend yet. Let’s dive in and find out what we can uncover!


So Where Did This Myth Come From?

One theory is that the myth began with Alexander Selkirk, an 18th-century Scottish sailor who was the inspiration for Daniel Defoe's famous novel Robinson Crusoe. When Selkirk was rescued from his island after four years alone, he had reportedly lost all his teeth due to scurvy. According to some reports, sailors who were rescued from long voyages were often given gifts of coins or jewelry as a reward for their suffering, which may have led to the idea of pirates having gold teeth.

Another theory is that the myth originated with one of Blackbeard's crew members who was said to have a gold tooth made out of Spanish coins. Blackbeard was known for having a gold tooth cap made out of Spanish coins, which was believed to be a symbol of his fearsome reputation. Despite his menacing appearance, Blackbeard was also widely regarded as being quite funny and jovial, often cracking jokes and entertaining his crew with witty anecdotes.

Whether he was sinking ships or sharing stories around the campfire, Blackbeard was a true legend in every sense of the word. So if you're looking for gold teeth caps that exude both power and style, look no further than the one and only Blackbeard. This story was likely exaggerated over time until it became the idea that all pirates had golden teeth. However, there is also little evidence to support this claim as well.

Flash forward to the future, circa the early 2000s. In the most iconic pirate film of all time, "Pirates of the Caribbean", Captain Jack Sparrow is seen wearing several gold teeth caps. Actually, this wardrobe decision was not based on facts about pirates and gold teeth. The gold teeth were actually Johnny Depp's idea, as the actor insisted his pirate character have this unique look that would be instantly recognizable. The gold teeth caps were worn for the movie part, however, he did not remove them until after finishing the third Pirates.

Why Would Any Pirate Have Gold Teeth?

One theory suggests that some pirates may have had gold teeth caps to protect their money from others. If a pirate had money stored away for safekeeping, he or she might use gold teeth as a way to easily access it without anyone else knowing about it. When in need of cash, they could just pull out the tooth with their loot hidden inside!

Another possible explanation has to do with the fact that gold has long been believed to give bring the wearer good luck and protection against danger. This belief stretches back to ancient civilizations and has been carried on in many different cultures throughout the years. One such example is gold teeth caps, which are thought to bring good fortune and protection to those who wear them—something that was especially important for long voyages at sea.

It is believed that pirates used their gold teeth caps to intimidate their enemies and demonstrate their wealth and status. However, this was likely only done by the most successful members of pirate society, as it was an expensive process even back then. Also, many pirates were former sailors who had lost a tooth during battle and replaced it with a golden one to show off their success. The use of gold was also seen as a sign of strength since it was so rare and valuable at the time.

The last theory is simply an aesthetic one – some pirates may have decided to add a gold teeth cap for fun or perhaps even as a status symbol amongst their peers! After all, with so much time spent on ships and away from civilization, any little thing could help boost morale on board.

Although gold teeth have pretty much always been a symbol of wealth and prestige, they were also used in other ways. Gold teeth caps were sometimes used by people as a way to boost their confidence, as gold is often associated with power and status. Today, gold teeth are still quite popular, both in Hollywood and beyond!


So while it makes for a great story and a great movie moment, aside from one (probably exaggerated) anecdote about one man in one crew on one voyage - there's no historical documentation showing that pirates did have golden teeth caps. So, did pirates really have gold teeth? Although there is no real proof that gold-teeth-wearing pirates were a thing on the high seas, we can say with some certainty that there were probably more than a few swashbucklers adorning themselves with golden smiles at one point or another!

Whether they were using them as a symbol of status or simply for practical purposes remains unclear—but what isn’t up for debate is that these daring adventurers certainly knew how to make an impression! This doesn't mean you can't dress up like your favorite pirate and glue some fake coins onto your front tooth—just don't expect anyone else to believe you're really Jack Sparrow! ​​​​​