The best celeb tooth transformations
The rich and famous seem to have everything they could ever want in life, but even celebrities can encounter dental problems. A lot of stars go through smile makeovers after they hit it big and acquire a larger budget, allowing them to close up a tooth gap, whiten their teeth, get veneers, opt for braces, and everything in between — just to achieve that signature Hollywood look.
Whether natural or surgical, these teeth adjustments are sometimes seamless, with standard “before” and “after” photos to mark the change (because “pics or it didn’t happen,” right?). Other times, there is a bit more drama, because even having all of the money in the world is not always enough to get rid of a toothache or instantly fix a problematic dental issue. Unfortunately, those struggles can lead to decreased confidence or prevent famous faces from performing to the best of their abilities. But no matter the reason behind deciding to “fix” their teeth, changes in a celeb’s smile will always be noticed by their invested fans.
Let’s rewind the clock to take a look back at some major celeb tooth transformations.
Cardi B 'got a bag and fixed her teeth'
Before Cardi B became a global superstar, she appeared on Love & Hip Hop: New York. Even though she stole the spotlight and won many people over with her comedic remarks, she faced her fair share of trolls, who made some awful remarks about her apparently less-than-perfect smile. During one episode, an etiquette coach encouraged Cardi to dress more conservatively for business meetings, which prompted the rapper to admit, “I got crooked teeth. So, I don’t want people to look at my crooked teeth. So, I’d rather them look at my titties.”
During a November 2016 episode, Cardi returned with a remodeled smile, boasting, “I know y’all see my teeth. Now Imma use this mouth for what it’s really intended … to kill these rhymes.” In response to the teeth makeover, one viewer tweeted, “Cardi B getting her teeth fixed shows how harsh and cruel people on the internet can be.” This was, unfortunately, spot on, considering another person had previously tweeted, “Cardi B teeth need work when these #LHHNY checks come in this year, cus that s**t ain’t acceptable.”
Cardi B acknowledged her new teeth in the lyrics of her song, “Bodak Yellow,” where she rapped, “Got a bag and fixed my teeth / Hope you hoes know it ain’t cheap.” The song blew up and so did her dentist’s bank account. After that shout out, Dr. Catrise Austin claimed that her business “tripled” during a 2017 TMZ interview.
Tom Cruise's 'middle tooth' is the center of attention … literally
The Tom Cruise who appeared in the 1983 film The Outsiders looks very different than the movie star fans recognize today. Sure, he grew up and all, but his teeth were unforgettable. One fan tweeted, “I think Tom Cruise had his old teeth in The Outsiders.” Another person wondered, “Is Tom Cruise wearing false teeth in THE OUTSIDERS or were his teeth actually that bad early on?”
It turns out that was a mixture of both. In 2018, Life & Style reported that Cruise removed a cap on his front tooth for the role. So, those were his real teeth, but he also did that just for this part. He went back to that Hollywood smile, eventually, with some maintenance in between. In 2002, Cruise’s publicist confirmed to Entertainment Weekly that he got braces at age 39 with the stipulation that “he’ll take them off for movies.”
Believe it or not, that chipped front tooth in The Outsiders and this stint with braces weren’t even Cruise’s most-talked-about dental moments. He has what is known as a “middle tooth,” according to Life & Style. Basically, one of his front teeth is right in the center of his face, and one fan was so consumed by the tooth’s alignment, tweeting, “I’m sorry, I wasn’t listening, I was thinking about Tom Cruise’s middle tooth.” Well, at least it’s unique, and to be honest, things can be way “worse” when it comes to memorable teeth.
Zac Efron closed the gap on his awkward years
Even Zac Efron had a bit of an awkward phase growing up, which fans caught a glimpse of during his early 2000s stint on Summerland. His co-star, Lori Loughlin, was admittedly surprised that he became such a heartthrob, telling Entertainment Tonight in 2018, “He was just such a young kid with a gap between his teeth when he starred on our show. It was so funny … I think he was 14 years old, and he was always cute, you know, but he really morphed into quite the hunk, huh?”
Before Efron closed the gap, however, former girlfriend Vanessa Hudgens felt a spark when they met at their High School Musical audition. “I think everybody could see it. When we had our audition, they paired us together,” she told Us Weekly in 2010. “And he was adorable. I mean, he wasn’t the guy that he is today. Like, he had a gap in his teeth.” In contrast, she described 2010 Efron as “just grown-up,” remarking, “He doesn’t have his gap anymore. I look at him, and I see a man.”
Efron’s real-life grin has remained consistent post-gap, but he made some faux adjustments to play Ted Bundy for a 2019 biopic. Wearing some fake teeth on the bottom row, the actor noted to Variety, “Our top teeth were very similar.” He even joked, “I had a lot of similarities with Ted that were a little bit unnerving” — presumably related to the aesthetics only.
Dakota Johnson is 50 shades of sad about her gap teeth
Some celebs ditch their gap teeth to fit in with some Hollywood beauty ideals. However, Dakota Johnson didn’t actually intend to change her smile. During a 2019 appearance on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, the titular host said fans were “heartbroken” because the gap had closed, which prompted Johnson to explain, “I had a permanent retainer since I was like 13, and it was just glued to the back of my teeth … I was having a lot of neck problems recently, so my orthodontist, she decided that it would be a good idea to take it off and see if my jaw sort of expanded, and it helped me and my gap closed by itself.”
Admitting that she was “really sad about it, too,” the Fifty Shades of Grey star went on to share that losing the gap created “a whole new world of problems,” like getting food stuck in her teeth. However, she promised, “It’s gonna come back.” When Fallon asked how, Johnson optimistically answered, “Other retainers.”
Despite the medical benefits of removing her retainer, there were lots of fans who were affected by her lack of a gap tooth, with one person posting a “celebration of life” video dedicated to Johnson’s smile, and someone else wondering, “Is grieving over dakota johnson fixing her tooth gap a valid reason to not work.” It might have been, since many appeared to feel that same sense of mourning.
Gwen Stefani considered her braces an 'accessory'
Although the platinum hair and beaming white smile are Gwen Stefani staples, the woman can truly pull off any look, including bright pink hair paired with a set of braces. During a 2016 video for Glamour, the No Doubt front-woman shared some words of wisdom about how to make braces “look cool.” She declared, “Okay, so this is a situation. When you’re wearing braces, you need to just totally, totally accept that they are part of your whole look. They are your accessory. And just embrace it. Get it? Embrace it.”
That positive outlook is not at all surprising considering how much pride Stefani had when she was able to afford braces at age 29, which she reflected on during a 2019 Vogue interview. “I had gotten famous. I got to buy a house. I moved out of my parents’ house. Like, so much had happened,” the singer recalled, before explaining, “The braces were like me coming home and being like, ‘You see this money I got? Boom. I’m getting braces finally. Haha.'”
As happy as she was to afford the orthodontics, it wasn’t easy to rock braces initially. During her first performance with braces, Stefani shared, “My lips were getting caught in my braces, and I came off stage and went into some closet in some room and cried for the rest of the night.” Luckily, she was able to get through that adjustment and now she has a seemingly perfect smile.
Demi Lovato ditched the gap teeth for Disney
Demi Lovato was already an entertainment industry veteran when she got her big break in the Disney Channel Original Movie Camp Rock in 2008 at just 15 years old. Previously, she was on Barney & Friends in 2002, had a small part on Prison Break in 2006, and was introduced to the Disney audience on the short series, As the Bell Rings, from 2007 to 2008. Lovato had a gap between her teeth for those roles, but eventually revealed why she ditched it when asked about the “worst beauty advice” she’d ever received in a 2016 Allure interview.
“I signed with Disney Channel when I got Camp Rock, and I had a gap between my two front teeth. They were like, ‘Would you be willing to fix it?'” Lovato shared. “I wish today that I hadn’t, because my gap was really cute.” While it sounds like she wasn’t actually “forced” to make the change, that Disney contract propelled her career to another level: Camp Rock and Sonny with a Chance were massively successful.
Lovato isn’t the only who wishes she didn’t close the gap though. One fan tweeted, “I miss the disney channel era demi lovato sound, back when you could really hear the gap tooth,” and another suggested “a petition to bring back demi lovato’s gap tooth.” While it’s unlikely that she will actually “bring back” the space between her teeth, Lovato’s OG smile will always be revered by the longtime Lovatics.
LeAnn Rimes 'can't fight the moonlight,' but she can fight the dentist
Unfortunately for LeAnn Rimes, getting a “picture perfect” smile was easier said than done. She’s incurred a lot of pain, surgeries, and legal battles just to get a smile she’s happy with. Her tooth pain was once so awful that she had to cancel performances, tweeting in July 2012, “So sorry to my sweet fans. We’ll make it up any show missed as soon as we can.” She revealed that she got an endodontist to do a “nighttime root canal,” sharing, “This is one of the craziest things I’ve ever been through.” Unfortunately, that wasn’t the end of her pain. By that October, Rimes had to reschedule another show due to a “massive infection,” tweeting, “I feel like I got hit in my right side of my face with a baseball bat.”
The issues became so bad that E! News reported Rimes had sued her dentist for giving her faulty veneers in addition to crowns that caused “severe tooth pain, gum inflammation and chronic gum bleeding.” To fix those issues, she had to undergo bone grafting, nine root canals, a temporary bridge, and physical therapy. Claiming that she had a “permanent cosmetic deficiency,” the singer mentioned her inability to perform in the lawsuit, seeking money for loss of wages and for “emotional and psychiatric injuries.”
In February 2015, Rimes took to Instagram to share a photo of her getting her 29th dental surgery, posting that she’s “almost done.” Thankfully, her dental nightmare is finally over.
Cher thinks a dentist 'ruined' her smile
Cher has been in the spotlight for decades. While she has been pretty loyal to her signature look with her jet black hair parted down the middle, she has changed some aspects of her appearance throughout the years. Cher gave her smile a tune up or two, which seemingly made her self-conscious about her teeth. Yes, even a global superstar like Cher has some insecurities about how she looks. In 2015, Cher tweeted, “Do u notice, I only SMILE on Stage, Havent in Pics 4 LONG Time. Ppl Say My face Is ‘Whatever,’ but Old Dentist RUINED SMILE, Have GREAT NEW DR.” When a fan defended Cher from claims she had “tons of plastic surgery,” she responded, “TONS,NO. Some,Yes. SO WHAT,” before she explained, “Sad Thing, Permanent retainer broke, Dentist Changed Teeth & I Dont like Smile.”
Even though Cher is admittedly upset with her own dental work, she channeled that disappointment into advising others on Twitter. When a fan asked if she recommended porcelain veneers or caps in 2016, Cher mentioned again that she isn’t happy with her dental work, recommending veneers in all caps and writing, “MY DENTIST LIED TO ME & HIS WORK RUINED MY SMILE.” Aside from displeasure with how her teeth look, Cher has also been very vocal about tooth pain and dental surgeries throughout the years.
Cher’s prolific career makes her seem like a superhuman, but her openness about her insecurities makes her very relatable and even more lovable.
Jordyn Woods backtracked on the gap teeth
For years, Jordyn Woods was adamant about her refusal to get rid of the gap between her teeth. In December 2017, a tweeter asked Woods if she was closing her gap and she responded, “No I’m keeeping it!! Just straightening some of my teeth.” A few months prior, she declared, “No I will not fix my gap to blend in with the rest of society! My gap makes me who I am. Your individuality is one of your special powers in this generation where everyone’s trying to fit in and keep up.”
However, everyone has the right to change their mind, and a year later, Kylie Jenner’s former bestie took to Instagram to share a photo showcasing her new smile without a caption. Her dentist later shared a video of himself at work. “I never disliked my smile or anything — I wanted to try something new and I found the doctor that I trusted,” Woods shared during a February 2019 Refinery29 interview. Even though her teeth should be her own business, she did add, “It may take a second for people to get used to it, but life is about evolving. It was a bittersweet thing.”
Believe it or not, there are some fans who were upset by the change. Soon after her smile makeover, one person tweeted that Woods “did not have to close her gap,” while another fan shared that October, “I miss jordyn woods’ gap.”
Hilary Duff's long veneers were 'so yesterday'
In a 2005 E! News interview, Hilary Duff revealed that she had to get her teeth fixed after she “spit [her] two front teeth out in [her] hand because [she] had chipped it on a microphone.” Yikes. As a result, the singer-actress got some veneers. However, they appeared to be too big for her mouth, and she seemingly had that set replaced or shaved down — but the internet didn’t forget about her 2005 smile, to a point where saying “Hilary Duff 2005 teeth” is a reference that has become a standard of comparison.
In 2016, someone tweeted, “Gucci Mane’s new teeth are very reminiscent of Hilary Duff’s 2005 teeth.” In January 2020, 15 years after she got those veneers, another person posted, “Hilary Duff’s 2005 veneers think that Gwen Stefani’s current set are ‘a bit much.'” The reference isn’t even just about aesthetics either, as “Hilary Duff’s veneers” are apparently a total mood, with one social media user sharing in February 2019, “Today i’m feeling like hilary duffs 2005 veneers.”
While many people agree that the seemingly long veneers weren’t the most flattering look, they do have a place in pop culture history, with some fans classifying them as as “ICONIC.” Those veneers are will forever be reminiscent of a distinct Duff era, with one fan eloquently tweeting, “Her skinny, huge teeth, dirty blonde, dark eyeshadow era was a serve.” While that phase is nothing short of memorable, Duff’s current teeth appear to be the perfect fit (literally).
Niall Horan's braces had their own fanbase
The one drawback of Niall Horan finding success early in life is that his “awkward phase” was very public. During a This Morning interview, the One Direction singer was asked, “If you could change one thing about your body, what would it be?” He shared, “My teeth and they’re on the mend,” grinning to showcase his braces. While he wasn’t happy with his teeth, his fans loved the hardware. In 2018, a Directioner tweeted, “Can u believe i used to beg my mum to get me braces because niall horan had them.” Another declared, “I’m officially a fan account for Niall Horan’s braces cause fine art deserves to be recognised.” His smile may have been the one thing he wanted to change, but he got so much love for it at the time.
Even so, Horan kept his fans in the loop on his orthodontic work via Twitter. In October 2012, he shared, “Just been to the dentist , gettin the braces off in the new year !” The following February, the singer-songwriter revealed, “the braces are coming off 3rd of april forever!” And on April 3, 2013, Horan posted, “Morning. ! This is it ! I’m goin to the dentist! I think this is my last hour with braces! Oh how I’m gona miss them ! Naaaaaaat !” Unfortunately, that isn’t exactly what happened, as it wasn’t until that August that Horan confirmed he was “officially brace free.”
Braces or no braces, Horan will always have lots of fan support.
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