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Why Japanese Women Pay Hundreds of Dollars for Crooked, Fang-like Teeth

Update Date: Feb 01, 2013 04:19 PM EST

Fanged teeth may generally be associated with werewolves and vampires, but in Japan having a mouthful of crooked, pointy teeth is considered cute and innocent.

While people generally pay to get their teeth straightened, Japanese women are doing the opposite by paying to make their teeth look crooked. Women in the East are opting for cosmetic procedures to get crowded, crooked-toothed smiles with accentuated fang-like canines. According to the New York Daily News, this look is known as the "yaeba" look. Yaeba means "multilayered" or "double tooth" in Japanese, and its look is achieved when the back molars crowd the canines, making them bunch up and protrude in the front.

In the U.S., the Yaeba look is likely to earn you the nickname "snaggletooth", but in Japan crooked smiles are adored by men, who find the "double tooth" look youthful and endearingly attractive. Other men find the slight imperfection makes gorgeous women more approachable, according to Oddity Central.

The yaeba trend was sparked by Japanese popstars and celebrities who have made the "fang-look" a hit in the country, according to Japan Today. More and more Japanese women, young and old, are flocking to dental clinics to get a cosmetic procedure to get yaeba teeth. To create the multilayered teeth effect, dentists glue artificial mini-fangs called "tsuke-yaeba" to the patients' real teeth, and dentists are charging as much as $390 a pop.

The fang look has grown so popular that a Japanese girl band was even named after the procedure. The group is called d TYB48  or tsuke-yaeba48 and had their first concert in Tokyo April 2012, according to the Daily Mail.

Clinic director Taro Masuoka, who came up with the idea of forming a pop group based on the term tsuke-yaeba, told Japan Today that the 'yaeba' look gives a girl a sort of elfish charm.

"It's a sense of beauty unique to the Japanese, but 'yaeba' can be an attractive feature on women in their teens and twenties," Masuoka told Japan Daily.

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