The Yaeba Phenomenon In Japan

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In the United States, many adults spend thousands of dollars undergoing cosmetic dental procedures in hopes of achieving a "picture-perfect" smile. However, a "picture-perfect" smile means something entirely different in Japan, where women and teens flock to their dentists to achieve a perfectly misaligned set of pearly whites. The following guide answers several of the most commonly asked questions about this procedure, known as "Yaeba."

What is Yaeba?

Yaeba is a dental procedure intended to give girls or young women crooked canine teeth, or "snaggleteeth." Yaeba is achieved when the patient's molars appear to crowd out the two front canine teeth, pushing them forward. It offers a "cute" look that some say produces an almost childlike appearance.

Why would anyone desire crooked teeth?

This trend continues to thrive because many Japanese men are attracted to women with crooked teeth. Not only do they consider crooked teeth to be cute and endearing, they also believe this type of imperfection makes women more approachable. Many teen girls and young adults are also inspired to undergo the procedure because of popular Japanese celebrities and girl bands with Yaeba. Girls and women who have undergone a Yaeba procedure are considered to be fashion-conscious and trendy.

How is a Yaeba procedure performed by dentists?

Using modern cosmetic dental technology, some dentists in Japan will add permanent implants or removable crowns to your mouth so they appear to crowd out your real teeth. The "Yaeba" look can also be achieved by affixing false fronts, like veneers, to the visible surfaces of your front teeth.

Why do some people oppose Yaeba?

Dr. Emilie Zaslow, an assistant professor at Pace University, told the New York Times that this procedure is just another way to change a woman's appearance for the sake of men. Yaeba procedures offer women a youthful, pre-orthodontic look, leading many to believe that Yaeba encourages society to emphasize the sexualization of young girls.

How much does a Yaeba procedure cost?

The Huffington Post reports that Yaeba, using either temporary or permanent crowns, typically costs about $195 to $500 per tooth. Some dental clinics in Japan even offer discounts for students in middle school and high school.

Although the desire for Yaeba may seem bizarre to many Westerners, this trend is still going strong in Japan. Beauty is subjective. Like body piercings, tattoos and liposuction, some people love Yaeba, while others shudder at the thought of undergoing this procedure.