***UPDATED: August 29, 2013*** The “gap-tooth gang” recently lost a member as it has been reported that Brazilian soccer superstar, Ronaldinho, has undergone surgery to repair his teeth. For several years, fans around the world have identified the stellar athlete by his distinctive smile, which sported protruding, crooked incisors. But rumor has it that the 33-year-old opted for porcelain veneers to enhance his pearly whites. It’s also suspected that he underwent gingival surgery, as reported in a recent Dental Tribune article. Many celebrities choose not to cosmetically enhance their teeth, claiming that imperfections add to their character, making them more memorable to fans. Obviously this international star decided to let his fans remember him for his performance on the pitch, rather than his less-than-perfect grin after scoring a goal.
I recently came across a very interesting Huffington Post article that really grabbed my attention. “10 Celebs Who Refuse to ‘Fix’ Their Teeth,” showcased a number of actors, models, and musicians who have kept their less than desirable smiles for one reason or another. In a culture that focuses so much on perfection, it surprised me that these famous, and no-doubt, financially stable individuals would choose to sport a less-than-perfect appearance, given the accessibility and ease of cosmetic dentistry in this day and age. Why would anyone choose to have “bad” teeth?
The article used the witty term “gap-tooth gang” to refer to a handful of celebrities who flaunt their faulty smiles. Actress Anna Paquin, seen on the popular HBO series, True Blood, has quite a prominent space between her two front teeth, typically a displeasing trait. But analysts agree, this unique feature adds to her beauty and makes her more memorable. Madonna is another mogul in the show-biz industry showcasing split front teeth, but when you think of this long-time superstar, her teeth are the last thing most recall. The same could be said for actor Woody Harrelson, models Lara Stone and Lauren Hutton, and musician Seal. They are all bona fide members of the “gap-tooth gang,” yet no one seems to care, or even notice. There are others as well, who don’t have a gap, but are happy with their own imperfections. Actors Kirsten Dunst and Steve Buscemi share similarly crooked smiles, along with singer/songwriter Jewel. It’s doubtful any of these A-listers will run to their cosmetic dentist for braces any time soon. Unlike most of us, they can get away with it.
Where others are seen as having unfortunate shortcomings, these celebrities are said to have unique characteristics that amplify their good-looks and contribute to their individuality. Maybe it’s because they possess a unique or superior talent, or perhaps it’s because they have amazing PR reps that do their jobs well. Either way, they can get away with it when in fact, most “commoners” cannot. For all of us non-celebs, fortunately there are fabulous cosmetic dental services available. Procedures such as tooth sculpting, whitening, and Invisalign, make correcting your less-than-perfect smile as easy as taking a few trips to your local cosmetic dentist. As much as I’d love to think my not-so-bright smile is as attractive as any of the stars named above, reality stares me down in the mirror every morning, reminding me that in my case (and in many others’ as well) , beauty absolutely comes at a price.
Written by Mark Paulsort
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