TOKYO — In many Western countries, crooked teeth are seen as imperfections and most people consider a straight set of pearly whites ideal.
The story is slightly different in Japan, where “yaeba,” or snaggletooth, are considered cute; with some men finding the imperfect smile they form endearingly childlike and attractive.
Okay, so maybe “snaggletooth” is an unfair translation. “Yaeba” literally means “multilayered” or “double” tooth, and describes the fanged look achieved when molars crowd the canines and push them forward. It’s not a serious dental deformity, but it’s certainly enough to get you picked on at school in some countries.
Thanks to the popularity of pop-idol group AKB48′s Tomomi Itano and other celebrities sporting a pair of rogue chompers of their own, “yaeba” has turned into a cosmetic craze in recent years, with Japanese women of all ages flocking to dental clinics to have temporary or permanent artificial canines, called “tsuke-yaeba,” glued to their teeth.
Dental Salon Plasir, located in Tokyo’s ritzy Ginza district, is one such clinic offering a “tsuke-yaeba” procedure, and they’ve even made this informative commercial so you can see what the process of paying someone to wreck your teeth is like.
Read more at Japan Today