We typically associate braces with those awkward teenage years. Believe us, there are many pictures out there that we wish we could erase all traces of—particular those yearbook pictures. However, there are some people who opted out as teenagers or forgot to wear their retainers (for shame!), who now want to perfect their smiles as adults.
But adults wearing braces isn’t as rare as you’d think. In fact, the number of adults with braces is on the rise. “In the last 10 to 15 years we’ve seen a significant increase in the number of adults getting braces,” says Allison Park, PA, orthodontist and president of the American Association of Orthodontists John Buzzato, DMD. “In 2010, 22 percent of orthodontic patients were adults.”
And celebrities are no exception. Except when they get braces, they go through them very publicly. Scroll through this gallery to see which of your favorite stars have decided to whether the paparazzi storm for a more perfect smile.
Back in 1999, Gwen Stefani was the lead singer of No Doubt and was always catching our attention with her risky style and fun hair colors. But perhaps her riskiest move was her braces that she actually got for fun, believe it or not. In an interview, Stefani said, “I could afford them at that point and that’s when I went and got them.”
She may be famous for that beauty mark (and for being one of the most gorgeous women in the world), but if anyone can make braces look sexy, it’s her. The gorgeous supermodel actually wore them in a Pepsi ad back in the 90s.
The newest celebrity inductee into the braces hall of fame, Faith Hill debuted her four-month-old braces at the Grammys this past February. The country singer confessed that she’s going through round two because she forgot to wear her retainer.
Faith had her career in mind when she chose ceramic braces over less obvious smile correctors like lingual braces, or ones that attached to the back of the teeth. “Since her livelihood is in singing and using her voice, the placement of the lingual braces would affect her tongue and interfere with her singing ability,” says Dr. Buzzato.
While she seemed to stay out of the spotlight during her brief stint with braces, actress Alyssa Milano did indeed have braces back in 2005. Alyssa corrected her smile with ceramic brackets, which is actually the most common braces style, says Dr. Buzzato. Other options are the traditional braces, clear aligners like Invisalign and the least common lingual braces.
Even with an Oscar in the bag, Faye Dunaway proved that you’re never too old for braces. The actress opted to correct her smile at the age of 61 in 2002. At the time, she said, “You just sort of let them go for a while, but it was time to have something done to my teeth. I’m glad. It’s going to be good.”
But braces weren’t the end of the road for her, the actress reportedly got veneers after the braces were gone. Perhaps it was because she was unhappy with their color. “If teeth are uncorrectable in color, then we consider veneers,” says Sarasota, FL, cosmetic dentist Jenifer Back, DMD.
She could have also used braces as a springboard for more dental work. “Direct composite resin bonding or porcelain veneers can be used to make crowded teeth look straight, but both usually require reshaping some or all of the front teeth first,” says Huntersville, NC, cosmetic dentist Ross Nash, DDS. “It is often more conservative and less invasive to move the teeth slightly before bonding or veneers.”
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