Thinking of getting your teeth done, looking for a perfect smile? Think again. The wealthy and influential are shunning perfection as actresses, singers and models embrace ‘imperfect’ teeth. For to come across as original in this world of ‘everything the same’ to stand out and be a real trendsetter, celebs have realised — you need to keep your original teeth.
Back in the 1950s Brigitte Bardot made a name for herself as a sex symbol and part of the allure were her gapped front teeth where one tooth was slightly longer than the other. It’s a look that gap-toothed model Georgia May Jagger, daughter of Mick Jagger and Gerry Hall has pulled off for her now famous Rimmel London ads. Georgia May is just one celeb who could effortlessly change her chompers but refuses to give up her individuality for a generic smile. The celeb model is in good company as gap toothed celebs who refuse to bow to convention to get their ‘teeth fixed’ include; Madonna, Vanessa Paradis, Eddie Murphy, Anna Paquin and quirky young singer, Melanie Martinez.
Even more celebs love their crooked, fanged or jagged teeth. Kate Moss couldn’t give a toss about her sharp sword teeth. Keira Knightly has said repeatedly that she loves her ‘snaggle tooth’ which sticks out on her top teeth, Avril Lavigne has a fang tooth which has never been ‘fixed’ and Will Ferrell’s crooked bottom teeth have become his acting trademark. Award-winning actress Patricia Arquette reveals she never got her teeth perfected because, “I didn’t want to look perfect; I didn’t feel it would fit who I was inside.” Other actors echo Arquette’s sentiments. Woody Harrelson has small gapped teeth but has resisted the pressure to get Hollywood tombstones like Tom Cruise.
Actor Steve Buscemi says dentists offered to ‘fix’ his teeth throughout his career but he told them if they did he’d never work again, his teeth were so much part of his look. In fact actress/singer Jewel who landed the western role as Sue Lee Shelley in Ride with the Devil said she got the part precisely because the director told her she had ‘period teeth’ in keeping with times past and other actresses had teeth too artificial. Our own Caitriona Balfe has said she was made aware in her modelling career that she didn’t have absolutely generically perfect teeth, but resisted the urge to change anything. Now that she is playing a period role as time-travelling nurse, Claire Fraser in Outlander it is easy to see how her natural smile is perfect for 18th century Scotland.
So have we in Ireland caught up with the imperfect trend when it comes to our teeth? Not quite, says Cork orthodontist, Dr Lettice O’Leary of Cork Clinic Orthodontics. ”There’s a bit of a generation gap, teenagers want ‘perfect perfect’ and they do not want anything that deviates from that, their parents are more inclined to want to keep a bit of originality.” I ask her has the Kate Middleton imperfect teeth trend not had any effect yet on the Irish population. It is believed the Duchess of Cambridge had her teeth worked on by French dental pioneer, Didier Fillion. By attaching lingual braces to the back of Kate’s teeth, Fillion, who is often described as a dental artist, is believed to have carried out subtle micro rotations on the Duchess’ teeth, to give her smile ‘harmonious asymmetry’. The idea of harmonious asymmetry is to keep something of the original teeth, a slight gap or slightly longer or shorter tooth to move away from all-American piano keys to something less artificial.
Dr O’Leary says while lingual braces are growing in popularity because they ‘re ultra-discreet, Irish young people especially want, ‘Instagram perfection’, which is often unrealistic. “What people don’t realise is the smile they see on Instagram could be photo shopped or the person might be wearing veneers.”
In addition different nationalities have different jaw shapes and teeth sizes; Irish people for example, tend to have small lateral incisors, the teeth next to the two top front teeth, so one smile is not necessarily transferable, especially from the point of view of retaining good bite.
In Japan women of all ages have been dashing off to the dentist to make their perfect teeth crooked and to add vampire fangs for an adolescent crowded ‘pre braces’ smile. It is called the Yaeba look, which means multi-layered of double teeth and customers spend a fortune to make canines longer and crooked to get what the Japanese believe is an endearingly gorgeous smile.
“So there’s no chance then the Irish may be tempted to follow the Japanese imperfect, asymmetric dental trend?” I ask Dr O’Leary.
“I can’t see that taking off at all,” she laughs.