Are Crooked Teeth (Yaeba) Cute?

yaeba teeth cuteIn the west, crooked teeth is something seen as a flaw. A flaw which needs to be fixed with braces or cosmetic denistry. In Japan however, not only is it not considered a flaw, but is quickly becoming something considered “cute”.

Double teeth (or snaggletooth) in Japan is known as “Yaeba”. Why many find this ‘cute’ is still something of a mystery. According to fans of yaeba in Japan, girls who possess it take on a feline look which may make them seem more attractive. Others, when asked, say it’s the little imperfections that makes pretty girls look more approachable as opposed to the heavily airbrushed and photoshopped models that appear on western magazine covers.

Biologically Endearing

However, it may have something to do with being a neotenous feature which are features or traits that allow someone to appear more youthful (larger eyes, smaller chins, etc).yaeba girl Neotenous features are right up Japan’s alley as they consider themselves “the culture of cute”. If you’re a fan of anime or manga, then you’re already familiar with neoteny as it is the hallmark stylization of the genre.

Contributing to the trend, or perhaps was the catalyst itself, are the many Japanese actors, idols, pop-stars and TV personalities with yaeba. Instead of having their perceived imperfections fixed, they unabashedly sport them in front of the camera and to their fans. For some, it becomes their trademark.

Yaeba On Purpose?

Yaeba TeethSomething new is happening in Japan. Recently, a few dental salons in Tokyo have been experiencing quite the business boom after they began advertising cosmetic procedures to enhance yaeba. Dr. Yoko Kashiyama, a dentist at one of these salons, perform a wide variety of cosmetic dental procedures, but she states that yaeba enhancement is definitely the most popular.

The procedure can either be temporary or permanent but it isn’t cheap – be prepared to cough up $200-$500 per tooth ‘yaeba enhanced‘.

Using an adhesive, custom-designed artificial teeth or caps are glued onto a person’s natural teeth to make them more pronounced. One Japanese TV station sent a reporter to one of these dental salons, not only to do a report on the procedure — but actually get it done herself. You can watch the video at the below.

Move Over AKB48

One dental salon in Tokyo’s Ginza district decided to take advantage of the popular trend and put together an idol group based on the Yaeba concept.TYB48 Yaeba

The new group is called “TYB48“, which is an abbreviation for Tsuke Yaeba (literal translation: fake double tooth). TYB48 had their first live concert debut on May 30th of last year, and have stayed somewhat active with their most recent live performance taking place on April 20th in Akihabara. They have released a concert DVD and several music CDs, even teaming up with supercell on their most recent single.

How do you feel about yaeba? Cute or not? Let us know in the comments below.


  1. Alin Muresan

    May 1, 2013 at 11:06 pm

    I think yaeba is very cute. I found crooked teeth very cute before knowing what yaeba was, when I didn’t know that it exists, or that there are others like me who find crooked teeth cute.

    My wife is Japanese and she has croocked teeth and she asked me if she should have an orthodontic treatment. I told her not to do it because she looks very cute this way.

  2. Tiamon

    May 6, 2013 at 3:54 am

    Wow, I always found Yaeba cute but I didn’t know other people did too, let alone an entire culture.

    With the West pushing perfect teeth, I think it’s a welcome change of pace. Reminds me of that country singer Jewel who has crooked teeth and never got them fixed.

  3. Quocalimar

    June 3, 2014 at 2:53 am

    I have no problem with crooked teeth and even do think it can be cute, but to take it upon yourself to wreck them, is not.
    At what point does striving for aesthetics become too much? I say it’s when you take a potentially harmful action with no purpose but to enhance your aesthetic appeal.

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