In the U.S. people aim for perfectly straight dentures, but an entirely different trend has taken off in Japan. Many teenaged girls have undergone dental procedures called yaeba to elongate their canines, producing a fang-like imperfect - and some say childlike - appearance.
Yaeba means "double tooth" in Japanese. The yaeba look is achieved when molars crowd the canines and push them forward. Many younger children are familiar with the schoolyard taunt "snaggletooth," which is common before orthodontics are put in place in the teen years. But numerous young Japanese women with "snaggleteeth" paid for it.
Some Japanese men reportedly find crooked teeth endearing and attractive. For others, this slight imperfection makes beautiful women more approachable, reports Oddity Central. Blogs celebrate yaeba and celebrities eagerly smile for cameras to show off their protruding canines.
Girls have increasingly flocked to dental salons for yaeba. The cosmetic fad is the most sought-after procedure provided by Dental Salon Plaisir in Tokyo's Ginza district. At Dental Salon Plaisir, the dentists glue artificial canines onto the patients' real teeth. Since the salon uses temporary adhesive, the transformation is not permanent.
But not all are enamored of the trend. Michelle Phan maintains a trendy blog on beauty and fashion, in which she said that we don't need to purchase our flaws: "I've always believed that many perceived imperfections in appearance add uniqueness and personality, and actually enhance a person's beauty. But is buying our quirks through cosmetic procedures taking it to an extreme?"
Others are troubled by what they consider the phenomenon’s fixation on youth. Dr. Emilie Zaslow, an assistant professor of communications at Pace University, told The New York Times that yaeba demonstrates "the sexualization of young girls." "The gapped tooth is sort of pre-orthodontic or early development," she said, "and the naturally occurring yaeba is because of delayed baby teeth, or a mouth that's too small."