A story of soldiers
Yannick Noah, Vanessa Paradis, William Leymergie, Laurent Voulzy, Jane Birkin, Béatrice Dalle, Mike Tyson … Many personalities have the characteristic of having a diastema in their teeth. This word comes from the Greek “diastema” which means “interval”. As the saying goes, “having the teeth of happiness” is supposed to bring good luck to those who have this hallmark. Why ? To find out, you have to go back in time.
The expression actually dates from the Napoleonic wars. At the time, soldiers had to hold heavy guns with both hands. They only had their teeth to tear off the paper wrapper in which the powder refill was located. Consequence: to fight, you needed a jaw in perfect working order. Those who had spoiled teeth, or even simply discarded, were therefore declared unfit for combat and reformed. What joy it was for them not to go to the front! It is for this reason that one said “to have the teeth of happiness”.
Source site www.europe1.fr