Tokyo dental fad? Make your teeth look worse
Tourists come to Asia from all over the world to take advantage of affordable and top-quality cosmetic and plastic surgery procedures.
But in what could be a new fad in Japan has us wondering how many people will be flying in for supplemental dental work that promises to make teeth appear crooked.
Perhaps your folks spent thousands on fixing your wonky teeth all those years ago.
But chances are, if you were born in Japan, it was more like zero -- the lack of orthodontists is one reason why having a mouth full of straight teeth isn’t such a big deal here.
In fact, in some circles that goofy look is downright desirable, which leads us to the news that a Ginza-based dental clinic has just started supplying fake crooked teeth to those blessed with more traditionally “beautiful” pearly whites.
Grin and bare it
Dental Salon Plaisir says its Tsuke-yaeba -- or Stick-on Crooked Teeth -- will impart that desirable “imperfect” look to men and women alike, making them more attractive to the opposite sex.
The theory behind that slightly odd approach is that classic beauty tends to scare away timid suitors, whereas a more down-home look is easily approachable.
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Similarly, some Japanese women have been reported to favor men wearing glasses, as the physical flaw has a comparable aphrodisiac effect.
Anyone seeking Tsuke-yaeba will need to fork out upwards of ¥30,000 ($390) and undergo a short procedure as a Plaisir dentist applies the plastic gnashers with glue. Naturally, they’re color-matched to your real teeth.
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As for the advisability of the process, Tokyo orthodontist Masaru Iwatsuki has his doubts. “It’s a crazy idea,” he says. “Teeth have holes to let oxygen in. Covering them is bad for the tooth’s health.”
“Not that it matters, though,” he reckons. “It’s clearly a passing fad -- something that will be gone in six months.”