If you were lucky enough to be born with perfectly straight, white teeth – congratulations! But if not, don’t fret: You’re in good company. In fact, some of the brightest stars in Hollywood’s sky needed a little help to get their red-carpet smiles. A dental makeover could be as simple as teeth whitening, or as involved as tooth replacement. But whatever degree of work you need, it’s all about getting the smile you’ve always dreamed about.
As a perpetually performing stand-up comic and TV host, Howie Mandel smiles almost constantly. A few years ago, however, he noticed that his ready smile was starting to look duller—a change he attributed to aging. “I’m 57 years old and you have a tendency to lose the [appealing] color,” Howie said in an interview with Dear Doctor magazine. “I did some work and I had them made nice.” The “work” Howie referred to was a set of porcelain veneers. These fingernail-thin shells of tooth-colored ceramic that cover the front surfaces of teeth brightened up Howie’s smile and gave him a more youthful look overall. “I am happy with my veneers,” the comedian said.
Supermodel Kathy Ireland also had a dental makeover to turn back the clock—but for a different reason. The former Sports Illustrated cover girl’s smile was badly damaged in a fall from a toy wagon while horsing around with her kids. “I needed numerous veneers and a dental implant to replace a lost tooth,” she told Dear Doctor. A dental implant is a small titanium post that anchors a replacement tooth to the jaw so that it looks, feels and functions just like a natural tooth. “It was pretty easy,” Kathy said of her implant procedure, “but I have to tell you—after being a mom and having kids, going to the dentist for me is like going to the spa. I get to sit down and relax!”
Actress Katherine Heigl had a dental makeover not because she wanted to turn back the clock, but because she was looking forward…to her wedding day. Before she wed musician Josh Kelley, Katherine decided she would fix something that had always bothered her about her own smile. “I’ve had crooked teeth my whole life, pretty much, and I only started caring about it when I was going to get married,” Katherine told an interviewer from the TV news magazine Extra. “I want my teeth straight for my wedding photos!” Katherine chose to straighten her teeth with Invisalign® clear aligners, which offer a much more discrete form of orthodontic treatment than traditional metal braces.
Lethal Weapon star Danny Glover had been a fixture of the large and small screens for decades before deciding he was due for a smile makeover just shy of his 60th birthday. He, too, opted for one of the newer, less noticeable forms of orthodontic appliances—in his case, clear braces. His barely noticeable brackets allowed him to continue acting right through his two-year course of treatment.
If you really want to see how transformative a smile makeover can be, look no further than actor Matthew Lewis, who played Neville Longbottom in the Harry Potter film series. Lewis couldn’t wait to get his badly crooked teeth fixed, but wait he did—through the filming of all eight Harry Potter movies—at the request of the studio that made him a star. “It was something I’d always wanted to do, but it would have meant me wearing a brace for two years,” he told an interviewer with the Yorkshire Evening Post. “Warner Brothers said if I put it off until we’d finished filming they’d pay for it – and they did.” That formerly awkward teen now looks like a Hollywood hunk—which only goes to show that the magic of orthodontics can rival the wizardry of Hogwarts!
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