Japan Today

Why Japanese women go for fake crooked teeth

By Steven Simonitch

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.

Longtime readers might also recall the world’s first snaggletooth girl group, TYB48 (tsuke-yaeba48), which held their debut concert in Akihabara, Tokyo, last April.

TYB48 was actually formed by another dental clinic offering "tsuke-yaeba," Pure Cure in Roppongi, Tokyo. Excite recently sat down with clinic director Taro Masuoka to ask him about the popularity of tsuke-yaeba and how he came up with the idea for a pop group.

“'Yaeba' give girls an impish cuteness”, said Masuoka. “It’s a sense of beauty unique to the Japanese, but 'yaeba' can be an attractive feature on women in their teens and twenties.” He even encourages the former group into his clinic with a half-price discount on "tsuke-yaeba" for middle school and high school students (ID required).

Masuoka admits that there are some women who come back to have their "tsuke-yaeba" taken off, and for that reason also offers removable-type "tsuke-yaeba" at the same price.

Regarding the formation of TYB48, Masuoka explains: “A lot of my patients are fashion-conscious and very cute. I wanted to find some way to take advantage of this, so I formed TYB48.”

While TYB48 has yet to make it big on the pop idol stage, it looks like the "yaeba" craze will be sticking around in Japan for awhile; but could it ever catch on overseas?

Source: Excite, Pure Cure

Read more stories on RocketNews24. -- World’s First Snaggletooth Girl Group -- Taiwan’s Weather Girls Form Girl Group in Japan -- More Middle-Aged Japanese Men Crossdressing in Public

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It is disturbing that men find this child-like.....

16 ( +26 / -10 )

The article's title is "Why Japanese women go for crooked teeth."

I can answer this in one sentence:

Because they're pathetic.

14 ( +33 / -19 )

If this is truly a widespread cultural phenomenon with a large number of participants, then it is indicative of some sort of underlying societal problem with female self-image and body dysmorphia. The fact that this quasi-disfigurement service is offered by trained medical professionals seems bizarre and merits examination by psychiatric researchers in regards to the causes and effects of these inherently Japanese trends.

4 ( +12 / -8 )

The Thai teens/young women are getting fake braces now (some bleed at the lips when they laugh)... just sayin. Ironically a few weeks ago we had an article about young Japanese wearing more masks. Anyway, the whole thing and these masterminded ---48 are products of the times. At least these things come off and not like tattoos. Now for the hard facts. The Japanese do not add fluoride to their tap water.. they give the kids powdered antibiotics on every cough that permanently destroys the enamel on teeth through childhood (Asia). This also causes bad breath forever. This is why Japanese teeth look very old at 25... straight white healthy teeth make faces look younger and attractive period. Nothing beats healthy teeth...like Austin Powers in the 90s. Rotten food will get stuck in these dumb things over time and this is a nightmare in the making, but this is Japan. And these people will brush their teeth all day long in their office or school bathrooms for the whiter younger kawaii look.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

open up a self esteem clinic next door...and that is for the ojisans too.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

My son (whose mother is Japanese) has inherited the kack-toothed look... he is already booked with the orthodontist for when he is 10.

8 ( +11 / -3 )

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.

Oh that's not creepy at all......

4 ( +8 / -4 )

The key word was 'childlike.' That sums it all up.

7 ( +10 / -3 )

All the better to eat you with, my dear.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

We had yamamba and men plucking their eyebrows. Now this? What the heck?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

heck, if they find crooked teeth cool, then they should just all go to england :)

11 ( +15 / -4 )

Good grief! If you follow this logic of what's attractive, what could be next?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Good grief! If you follow this logic of what's attractive, what could be next?


4 ( +5 / -1 )

Why Japanese women go for crooked teeth?


Just because some idiots do this to their teeth, it is unfair and stupid to generalize it to the whole population.

14 ( +17 / -3 )

TsukiYaeba, yabai

0 ( +0 / -0 )

What's next girls growing ear hair and braiding it because it makes them look like cute elves? Face palm FAIL!

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

First picture cute and second picture stupid and weird.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I spoke to someone in the industry and they told me that the number of women undergoing 'yaeba' procedures is exploding...

1 ( +1 / -0 )

rickyvee heck, if they find crooked teeth cool, then they should just all go to england

I'm English and I have teeth like a druid place of worship...

6 ( +6 / -0 )

as least they look better than the "unibrow" look that some country adopts.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

makes them look dorky if you ask me, and make some more like dogs or vampires

0 ( +1 / -1 )

And yet I get J women banging on about my teeth all the time and how perfectly straight they are (Im British, by the way rickyvee!) and telling me how "lucky" I am!

So which is it? Do they really want crooked teeth? Do they secretly hanker after straight teeth? Or were they reverse-psychologing me?!

1 ( +3 / -2 )

My bird had her uneven teeth fixed - and is very proud of them.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

@bicultural worked at a bar for 4 years and one thing that I never even came close to was getting my teeth realigned, a few quick slaps and there on there knees bowing for forgiveness. LOL

0 ( +0 / -0 )

If you said that out loud in a bar in Japan you might end up with crooked teeth yourself!

I highly doubt seeing as how with teeth that crooked no one would be able to pronounce the "th" soound correctly nor understand the meaning of the word either. Bi-ka-zu.....de-aru...pa-se-chi-ku! Which is pretty pathetic in and of itself.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

That pet phrase how everything and anything can be found to be "unique to the Japanese" is getting really tiresome.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

My missus has just about the most perfect set of choppers I've ever seen.

I, on the other hand, had the most outrageously skew-iff set of fangs as a nipper that my mother ensured were wrapped in wire and elastic until they were dead straight and the devil in me was banished.

Well, almost.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Looking at the photos above, the lower photo looks okay to me. I find the Osmonds-style version of perfection much more disturbing.

rickyvee, yeah, England, where orthodontistry is provided free by the government.

More and more dentists in the UK are charging for their services now... not cheap! To be honest I was waiting for some yank to come out with the old British teeth line... well done, have a toffee apple.

I had a Japanese girlfriend about 4 years ago who had teeth like that... it never bothered me, and yes, I did find it quite cute.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

The only astonishing thing about liking crooked teeth - (given the assortment of attractions that people of any culture might find very curious in others), is that people find it astonishing.

Leave UK with its toffee teeth decay, and USA with its unnatural rows of white marble tombstones - out of the discussion for a moment - and think of the magnificent diversity of features considered attractive - of different cultures around the world. From a few thousand years ago, to present day. And celebrate it?

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Hey don't hate. It's the culture in Japan, and that's what some of them like.

Having said that, I definitely want whatever they're smoking!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

It's amazing what passes for beauty in different places and at different times.

Ever seen Botticelli women?

Massive thighs and tiny Bristols.

That was beauty in the 15th century.

There are those who consider massive mammaries and hips wide enough to give birth to a baby elephant beautiful.

I was amazed to hear a woman described in what sounded a very positive way as being "thick!"

From where I come, "thick" doesn't refer to the presence or absence of body fat, it means the same as "elevator doesn't go to the top floor."

Beat Takeshi thinks that a sign of beauty is a squint.

Straight teeth, crooked teeth.

What does it matter?

If they think it's beautiful, it is.

There doesn't have to be a reason for it.

2 ( +4 / -2 )


1 ( +2 / -1 )

Hey, at least black teeth aren't popular, lol.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

The "beauty" of the cosmetic appliances aside, I think it's just going to create a whole additional set of hygiene issues for the girls. The dental clinic in Roppongi that formed that band should be shunned for artiificially trying to create demand for their services.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I find this ridiculous and hard to understand..... But then I think about breast implants, lipo-suction, collogen injected lips being pretty "normal" in the culture I grew up in, and realize that it's just a different culture with the same odd human behaviors.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

yep multi-layered sharks teeth is definately an attractive trait is your um? a Shark!

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

should be MCT48, Many Crooked Teeth x 48

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Eww, just ew... I'm sorry but take care of your teeth so you have no problems eating your food. I've been lucky to never have braces and got all my teeth including those "wisdom" teeth. Please, take you children in for braces, they'll thank you later on. Especially those that become actors/models doing advertisements for toothpaste/mouthwash/etc..

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Lady Dracula...

1 ( +1 / -0 )

...the same girls who think that pigeon toe stance is cute too, if you're genuinely pigeon toed then fair enough, but to intentionally stand like that is idiotic to the extreme. The snaggle tooth, pigeon toed kawaii monsters. A sign of the impending apocalypse....

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Some mannequins have teeth like vampires too http://www.flickr.com/photos/nihonbunka/8130362980/in/photostream

Bertie is right as usual, and I like squints too but, perhaps the logic goes something like this.

Subconsciously the Japanese know that their women are at base, just plain scary. They are taught, or preprogrammed to believe that babies are their prime objective and to rear them they'll turn you into a "salary man," and basically eat you alive. They are required therefore, to go to great lengths to hide their true nature, never growing up and wallowing in cute. But they'd be even scarier if they hid it completely. If there scariness is showing a little bit, then they are even more cute. They are like a gentleman with a bit of chest hair, or stubble showing, a hint that in fact they do still have bite.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The things people do for vanity never ceases to astonish. Take my helmet....

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Japanese women have always heavily conformed to their male counterparts' desires, and considering the sheer amount of creepy male-targeted marketing (teenage idols, etc.) out there at the moment, it's really not that difficult to see how something like this crooked teeth fad could have started, no matter how repulsive it is.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )


0 ( +0 / -0 )

Nothing wrong with imperfect teeth. The plastic-toothed, orange-tanned look of US TV dramas make the actors look like refugees from bad 80s movies, televangelists or GOP presidential candidates.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

I thought this whole ridiculous fad was just that: a ridiculous fad limited to a very small sector of the general population (like tattoos, for example). Then this morning I bumped into an acquaintance, and noticed that she had had tsuke-yaeba fitted.

Gentle reader ... she's a single, retired school teacher in her fifties!!! Get ready for this "fad" to become mainstream. If people like her are doing it, then everybody will.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Hey gals, remember ganguro?

0 ( +0 / -0 )


Japanese women have always heavily conformed to their male counterparts' desires

I wonder if that's true.

Most blokes anywhere are not really that bothered, unless she wears something particularly extreme.

I think most men are basically slobs at heart. We look after ourselves during the "hunt for a mate" stage, but having procured one, we tend to ease off and develop a beer gut and "love handles."

Or is it just me?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Beauty is very individual and cultural thing. There's no such thing as universal beauty; would you go for those living skeletons doing the cat walks or those 250 pounders you see in the US streets? The beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so leave the Japanese women alone.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

It's so unfair... just A FEW weird Japanese girls making "yaeba". But this article seems like most of Japanese girls likely to make "yaeba". That's not true. I'm Japanese girl and I do not like "yaeba". Crooked teeth is not attractive at all..... Just saying.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

My mom will be thrilled to know that the teeth she went to the orthodontist for are now a fashion statement.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Aside from the TYB48 supporters, Dracula might be interested, but probably not the TV studios looking for announcers, hotels for receptionists, airlines for hostesses.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Crooked teeth are ugly and show bad genetics.. you are as good as your smile..

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

As I see it, it's just one way of Japanese supporting each other. You have young girls who are bullied and rejected for their crooked bucked teeth. This is one way of getting young girls (who suffer from low esteem becase of something like this and who cannot afford to do anything about them), to live a normal life. Everyone blends in now. Ninety percent are natural crooked. The other ten, luckily, has clout and can help to improve on the acceptance of others. It's a sacrifice, which is undoable, on the celebrity's part. Nice gesture. Kudos to homogenity.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

is it halloween already?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

It may only be a matter of time till some 'beauty' clinic(s) come up with 'enhancing' people by adding "flappyness" to their ears. kawaiiiiii , not.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

What is with health care professionals. Anything to make a buck, (or yen in this case).And people who actually want this done, OMG!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I have these type of teeth naturally and firstly the comment section has not helped me feel any better about it haha. But second, yall do realise people in the west to the exact same thing but backwards? Exhibit A: myself. There's nothing wrong with my bite and the teeth cause me no real issues. But because they're not "straight enough", people see it as something bad I have to fix. By getting potentially harmful and expensive braces or invisalign, spending months to years pushing my teeth from their sockets, and then waiting for my bone structure to change only to still have to wear a retainer for the rest of my life. And so many do it! Heck, I'm considering it!

Just because there's a trend in Japan that doesn't fit with your idea of "beauty" you go OH NO HOW HORRIBLE they need to work on self esteem~~ But what you seem to forget is that the same exact thing is going on everywhere just with different standards and procedures.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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