Japanese people have crap teeth. True? Well, kind of. Some say it’s due to a lack of fluoride, while others say it’s the result of a genetic defect that has got progressively worse over the years. Whatever the reason, you do see a hell of a lot of crooked smiles in this country – but this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. For you see, crooked is sexy. The yaeba look, where front teeth stick out and overlap, is a major turn on for many Japanese men. Cosmetic dentists have twigged on to this, and women can now actually pay to get screwed-up teeth: or should I say ‘perfect imperfections.’
I have to admit that before visiting a Japanese dentist I was slightly weary. Some of my kindergarten kids have stumps for teeth, which led me to believe the dentists over here may be kinda crappy. I couldn’t have been more wrong. My local dentist is cheap as chips, and the most thorough and professional place I’ve ever been in. I went for a clean, yet they photographed every single one of my teeth for their records. There were aromatherapy oils being pumped throughout the room and Hawaiian ukulele music on in the background. I nearly expected a half-naked Japanese nurse to come out wearing a Hula skirt and hand me a Pina Colada. OK, I didn’t expect it. But I wanted it.
George Bernard Shaw once said, “Nothing soothes me more after a long day of pianoforte recitals, than to sit and have my teeth drilled.” I wouldn’t go that far. But I do know that a visit to my Japanese dentist is a good way for me to transport myself to Honolulu for an hour. I’ve had enough Hawaiian music for one day though. I’m going to go and listen to John Cage’s 4’33”.