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9 years ago by

Everyone in America has perfect teeth. 
That gleaming white, super straight smile that you see in the movies. Or here on Alex, who has the best smile!

I had suspected this was true from watching Julia Roberts movies in the 90s, but all of my fears were confirmed when I first arrived three years ago. The perfect smile was everywhere – on immigration officers at the airport, moms wheeling strollers, restaurant waiters. Everyone. It wasn’t just the movie stars.

I think you can tell the difference between an American and a newcomer, like me, in this brave new, gleaming world just by a smile. See, in Australia, like in Europe, it’s not so important to have perfect teeth. That far away from Hollywood, we’re pretty laissez-faire about it. Brushing, flossing… sure! (It’s not the 1600s!) But not everyone is obsessed with teeth whitening and straightening. When it comes to beauty, there are other assets that Australians care about more.

Here, though, it feels like a mega-watt smile is paramount. A must. Basically, you better have it or you’re out. And I don’t – my crooked tooth that, growing up, I felt added a little character, suddenly feels like a betrayal to this land of beautiful teeth.

Like high school all over again, when I landed I suddenly became self-conscious again — even my smile’s changed.

I’ve perfected the “slight-show-of-teeth” smile (reminder to all that I at least have teeth, haha) and the “closed lip” smile, which I think can look a little bitchy even if I really (promise) am happy!!

I embraced teeth whitening (the Crest strips really work) and, more recently, have been thinking about finally achieving perfect-smile-status, ingratiating myself into American society… By getting braces. Yes, adult braces à la Tom Cruise.

I know, I know, I know!! I feel kind of crazy for even thinking about it.
But maybe it’s better late than never, right?

When I told my boyfriend, Drew, I was thinking about braces, his response was, “But I like your snaggletooth.” (With a big, straight-toothed, all-American smile, of course.) Ok, at that point I knew I was crazy. (Who dates a guy who likes their “snaggletooth”?!)

I was, now, determined to get braces. (Hasta la vista, snaggletooth! Hello perfect teeth!)
Who cares if I’m well over a decade late to the party? 

But then I decided to ask a professional, my dentist, about it first. He gave me these options:
1. Get metal braces for about 18 months which he described, “will be pretty noticeable.” (An image of Gwen Stefani during her braces period came to mind.)


2. Try Invisalign, the “invisible braces” that are more like a clear cover that corrects teeth — but it would take THREE years to straighten ONE tooth.
3. Embrace my “snaggletooth” (and forego any dream of a Julia Roberts smile).

That was six months ago and, now, my next dental appointment is coming up — and I’m still undecided. For someone who grew up smiling and not caring about that one crooked tooth, it feels like a big commitment. But, in this new world of perfect teeth, it feels like it might be the right move. After all, is there anything more beautiful than a great smile?

Is having the perfect set of teeth that important? Or is it crazy to give into the pressure of perfection?

Necklace, Gabriela Artigas; Dress, Calvin Klein

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  • Jane with the noisy terrier April, 29 2015, 9:14 / Reply

    I had braces at 8 years old because my front teeth stuck out horizontally (almost) and the dentist was afraid I’d fall and break them. Here’s the thing–your teeth continue to move throughout your life. The gap between my front teeth closed then opened again slightly. If your teeth could potentially cause problems with jaw alignment or even bone loss later, then by all means get braces! A friend of mine was 62 when she got hers. Less about perfect looks, more about good health!

  • I’m past my 30s and have been wearing braces for over a year and a half. Mine are ceramic ones, not metal, and, though it’s been annoying to have them all this time on several occasions, I’m really happy having decided to go for it: I had a crooked tooth and other dental situations that needed fixing and was bothered by it, so now I’m doing something about it. If it doesn’t bother you, let it go. It’s not about perfection, it’s about how you feel (even if how you feel is pressured by the search for perfection…).

  • What a coincidence, I’ve just came from the dentist! I am really lucky with my teeth but I also embraced teeth whitening. I love a beautiful smile with beautiful teeth!

  • Virginie April, 29 2015, 9:31 / Reply

    Bonjour Neada,
    En tant que française, je te confirme que nous n’avons pas tous ici le sourire à l’américaine ” ultra bright”
    mais je comprend que tu te sentes un peu mal à l’aise dans cet univers au sourire parfait. J’ai eu 40 ans ce mois ci ( le post de Garance à ce propos me parle au plus au point !) et je porte un appareil dentaire depuis 10 mois. J’ai retardé car je n’avais pas envie d’avoir des bagues mais bon j’ai fini par me lancer. Je ne le fais pas pour des raisons esthétiques pures ( il n’y avait rien de dramatique ) mais pour des raisons de postures car j’ai un handicap au niveau des jambes et la position de la mâchoire joue beaucoup sur la position du corps en général. Ce sont des bagues transparentes pour plus de discrétion mais malgré tout ce n’est pas esthétique ( et en plus j’ai fait l’erreur de manger un plat au curry et horreur les bagues sont restées tachées!) et cela fait souffrir un peu, crée des problèmes de prononciation temporaires….bref rien de top et glamour!
    J’ai entendu il n’y a pas longtemps que certains américains justement qui trouvaient leur sourire trop parfait, sans caractère, qui en avaient marre d’avoir le sourire de tout le monde faisaient modifier leur s dents pour avoir des petites imperfections pour que cela soit plus naturel et avoir plus de charme !
    Si ton ami aime ta dent de travers, si cela te donne du charme et une petite touche d’originalité, franchement ne te galère pas avec un appareil ( qui coute très cher en plus !) si c’est juste pour une dent de travers. Et souris franchement, sans honte, c’est ce qui donne du charme et de l’éclat ! ;)
    Bonne journée

  • I have beautiful teeth thank you Invisalign and to my orthodentist in LA. I suggest you do research online and find an Elite prefered Invisalign practitionner. It didn’t take me 4 years but expect to suffer each time you turn to a new set of aligners and also to the fact that you will not be able to eat anytime or drink other than water. It’s worth the hassle. Dont’t forget either that from then on you will have to sleep every night with retainers.

  • Neada! Another perfect-toothed American here to say… keep your snaggletooth! I don’t think that we want perfect teeth here as much as it is just part of the system growing up. I never even had a chance to not get braces, like everyone else I had them put on right away at age 10-11. So it wasn’t even an aesthetic choice that I was allowed to make for myself. However, once I was in high school, I had a friend with parents who were kind of hippie and they hadn’t gotten her braces. She had the most perfectly imperfect smile that I found so charming! Think Kate Moss, Vanessa Paradis, or Kirsten Dunst. I used to wish that I could have had a smile that was a little more unique. These days I’m fine with my big perfect Julia Roberts teeth, but I just think that slightly crooked smiles can be so sexy and have so much character. Flaunt if you’ve got it!

  • Chelsea April, 30 2015, 8:53

    Agreed! I, too, had braces put on just as soon as my adult teeth came in, and at 25 I am still wearing retainers every night to sleep (not cute). I’m committed to wearing them because otherwise I know my teeth will move and undo 5 years and thousands of dollars worth of work. So I’m not so sure braces and perfect teeth are all they are hyped up to be.

    I say embrace what you’ve got, it makes you who you are!

  • 32 and got ceramic braces a little over a year ago. So worth it!

  • If option 3 doesn’t work for you, there is a fourth option. Get lingual braces — that’s metal braces that are placed on the inside of your mouth. It is much more expensive than regular braces (but possibly less than invisalign), but as effective as regular braces, though a little bit slower. Invisalign doesn’t work for all teeth issues (though you will find dentists who will put it on anyone, because it is extremely profitable for dentists to work with invisalign, and any dentist can do it, you don’t need to be an orthodontist). Get a consultation with a reputable orthodontist, though you should be prepared that the consultation itself will cost a few hundred dollars (can be up to $800).
    I got lingual braces and it took about 2 years. The results were spectacular, and I could smile without anyone knowing I had braces. It’s uncomfortable at first, but you get used to it quickly. On your bottom teeth, though, you can’t get lingual braces. But nobody notices your bottom teeth anyway. Not advocating that you should get braces, but for the vain among us, lingual braces are the best option. If you want the name of an orthodontist, reply in the comments. I don’t work there — I promise.

  • This is a real “Feeling happy picture”! :)

  • Je crois me souvenir qu’on avait demandé à une autre Corse de se faire refaire les dents, ce qu’elle a refusé. Reprocherait-on aujourd’hui son sourire à Laetitia Casta? Je ne pense pas. C’est elle, comme ça…et c’est ainsi qu’elle est belle…

  • C’est fou je me pose exactement la même question en ce moment, car mes dents se sont redéplacées suite à un traitement par bague à l’adolescence.
    Tiens nous au courant !

  • cornelie April, 29 2015, 9:47 / Reply

    Please don’t! You have such a lovely smile. Stay who you are, close to yourself.

  • Grace Geiger April, 29 2015, 9:48 / Reply

    You could try 3m incognito braces. They are behind the teeth so no one can see them.

  • vanessa April, 29 2015, 7:33

    Tout à fait! C’EST UN APPAREIL LINGUAL (FACE POSTERIEURE DES DENTS) aussi efficace que les bagues externe mais INVISIBLE! j’ai cela et heureusement car au cas où le traitement dure un peu plus longtemps que prévu, au moins on ne les voit pas!

  • Et tu connais Laetitia Casta?? Qui de sa dent de travers a fait sa marque de fabrique, son atout charme et qui a toujours refusée de se faire corriger les dents… Vive la disparité Neada!!!
    Bon je dis ça mais ça fait 10 ans que je vis aux US et même si je n’ai pas touchée à mes dents… mes enfants ont des dents bien américaines!!!!

    Courage et Bisous


  • I had REALLY laughably bad teeth, like, wouldn’t function normally in society without getting braces. So I had a retainer first for a couple of years, then braces for many years (and headgear–with a chambray denim strap. Oh god.)

    I’m happy with my smile now, even though my teeth have shifted quite a bit (even against the permanent bottom retainer). And I don’t remember them telling me that you have to wear a retainer at night for life afterwards–lost that thing long ago.

    One thing I will say is that I’m dating an English guy with the most perfectly imperfect smile and it’s one of my favourite things about him. Everyone’s teeth here are so cookie-cutter.

  • I had braces for 3,5 years and had 4 teeth extracted, yet a perfection has not been achieved, but I am happy with what I have. If it is only one tooth (I was surprised, because I have always admired your smile and your teeth – I think they are beautiful), I wouldn’t go for all the pain that is related with wearing braces. Yes, actual, physical pain and popping pain killers like tic-tacs for 2-3 days after every appointment with your orthodontist. Not being able to eat spinach (the Christmas decoration effect all over your teeth), not being able to eat solid food for 2-3 days after every appointmet with your orthodontist. Not being able to eat curry or drink red wine. Or coffee. Because they colour some elements of the braces. And, you know what, I have a friend who had braces and her disk slipped out. She spent a couple of weeks in a hospital before someone figured out that her braces made her jaw muscles too tense, they pulled on muscles on her scull and they, in turn, pulled on muscles in her back and they (a domino effect) created pressure on her spine until one of the disks slipped. So, unless you’re talking of a major correction of teeth similar to those of Prince Charles or Tom Yorke from Radiohead, please, don’t go through all the torture of wearing braces just to achieve the impossible NYC or California standards :)

  • 7 ans d’adolescence avec des bagues et des élastiques… Que de bons souvenirs ! Par contre attention les dents bougent et notamment pdt et après les grossesses… Ce serait bête de souffrir pour rien ;)

  • hahhah!! géniale cette photo de Gwen stefani! On ne se rend pas forcement pas compte. Caparaît un simple détail pour certains, notemment ceux qui fument, mais un sourire blanc, rend toujoutd plus beau!

  • I’m an Australian that has been living here for five years and I now have Invisalign! Ask your dentist about Propel, it expedites the process :)

  • Please, please, please *don’t* get braces! New York can be so hard when it comes to one’s looks. Your snaggletooth (ha!) probably *does* add quite a bit of character…there’s not much character in perfection, is there? Just try to remember that it’s New York that’s making you want to do this…

  • most of the celebs with perfect teeth actually have veneers! It’s crazy how many people have them!

  • Ben franchement pour moi c’est typiquement le cas où il ne faut pas le faire. C’est pas pour faire l’apologie de la différence hein, mais bon ça ne te gêne pas. Tes dents sont saines et blanches, pour moi c’est ça qui compte. Et puis tu le dis toi-même tu aimais bien. C’est cliché ce que je vais dire mais en portant des bagues tu succomberas au dictat de l’uniformité !
    Après m’étonne n’est dans ta tête donc seule gli sait ce que tu ressens vraiment mais vu d’ici, si tu es indécise c’est juste que tu ne veux pas vraiment le faire.
    Facile à dire pour la nana qui vit à Paris, ok, n’empêche que moi aussi je trouve qu’on repère les américains partout à leurs dents parfaites et des fois ça me fait un peu flipper…
    Bonne réflexion alors !

  • As someone who, at 31, has decided to own her crooked teeth….I say rock that tooth! I’ve had crooked teeth all my life and I think I would look SO different without them. They aren’t harmful to my oral health and they are very much “me.” I love them and would never choose to alter them with braces. However, you do what makes you happy! THAT is the key!


  • caro de l'0rangerie April, 29 2015, 10:40 / Reply

    il existe des bagues qu’on pose derrière les dents donc invisibles. Ca fait un mal de chien à langue pendant une semaine, tu zozotes un peu mais ensuite belles dents et zéro sourire d’ado!!!! je ne comprends pas qu’on ne t’en ai pas parlé, en Suisse c’est très fréquent. mais c’est cher.

  • Fanny Lou April, 29 2015, 10:41 / Reply


    Je viens de commencer Invisalign il y a une semaine, pour information j’ai 33 ans et j’ai déjà eu un traitement d’orthodontie plus jeune, au départ des raisons médicales mais le côté esthétique et Colgate smile a pris le dessus ????, j’ai 7 mois de traitement prévu, mon ressenti au bout d’une semaine c’est qu’il faut être très motivé car ça peut vite devenir contraignant, au delà de cela les goutieres sont bluffantes!!!

  • Céline (theblondpowder) April, 29 2015, 10:50 / Reply

    You have a fourth option : wear lingual braces (those inside the mouth, fixed in the interior part of your teeth).

    I have not tried them but I got some info on the web because I also have teeth issues.
    But sincerely, and maybe because I live in France, I think that I will keep my “non perfect” smile. I am 30 and so far my smile has not been a real blockage in my life. I’d like to think that it’s part of my beauty ;)

    I also think that doing something just to look like “the mass” is not a good reason. It has to be more personal.

    Neada, I send you a big hug from Paris :)

  • Je vis au Bresil depuis 2 ans et a l’universite ou je travaille c’est exactement la meme chose. Les gens ont des dents ultra-blanches et remarquablement alignees. Et il est tres frequent de rencontrer des gens qui portent d’horribles bagues entre 25 et 45 ans. J’en vois meme tous les jours! Ici c’est parfaitement ordinaires. Moi, j’ai une dentition pourrie. Enfin pourrie… Super propre, 3 brossages par jour, mais rien n’est aligne ni a la meme taille. J’espere qu’ils ne pensent pas a Halloween quand je souris. En France j’avais un sourire ordinaire sans plus. Ici je n’ose pas imaginer ce qu’ils pensent de mes dents… Je crois que je ne veux pas le savoir. Les bagues c’est trop afffreux j’en porterai jamais et le fameux appareillage invisible est tout simplement hors de prix.

  • I just completed InVisalign in my 40’s. I was so self-conscious after my slightly crooked teeth worsened with age (and would have continued to worsen). No one ever seemed to notice it when I would mention it, but it bothered ME. It was the best investment I’ve ever made in myself. Now I spend my days smiling ear to ear. It was such a small tweak to my appearance, but the self-confidence I gained was priceless.

  • Les bagues en céramique me semblent un bon compromis. Elles sont moins pratiques pour l’orthodontiste (il ne peut pas juste serrer les bagues, mais doit à chaque fois changer les arcs) et c’est mieux d’éviter de manger des plats au curry car elles deviennent jaunes (ou il faut simplement s’arranger pour en manger le jour avant le prochain rendez-vous). J’ai 35 ans et, en octobre 2014, mon orthodontiste m’a enfin enlevé les bagues après 1 an et 9 mois de traitement. Le résultat est fantastique et je suis ravie. J’adore enfin rire et sourire !

  • Oh gosh, I feel for you! I got my braces in high school for one crooked tooth, but since then I get tension headaches a few times a year and for some reason my facial structure has become assymetrical with one cheek being prominently higher than the other. I get there is no such thing as a perfectly symmetrical face but the resulting uneven face saddened me. My sister and dad got braces and retained TMJ problems and migraines. My brother is in his third year of medical school, training to become a D.O. (Doctor of Osteopathy), and there is research finding a huge correlation between braces and TMJ problems/migraines. From what I remember him telling me, having braces change the structure of your teeth is unnatural and can change your facial structure or give it stress. Many orthodontists either don’t know/understand the implications of braces on a person’s skull and how it impacts someone’s overall well-being or they ignore that knowledge and proceed with the procedure to make money. I don’t want that to happen to you so if you do choose to proceed, please find an orthodontist who understands the risks, is honest, and knows how to properly apply braces without giving you these issues. Of course, please don’t immediately take my word and research all this on your own to make your choice ;)

  • Katerina C April, 29 2015, 3:34

    Now, that is interesting. I think these are the problems if the specialist is not that good. I don’t have any of these issues and had braces a decade ago. So it seams that much important to find the best specialist possible. Neada, if you have more specific questions, you can send me an email. I will be happy to help with information. I think you should see what the people who did it in their adult life feel now.

  • There is an alternative to braces called a functional orthodontic appliance, which is a gentle palate widening retainer worn during the night. It widens the dental arch and makes room for the teeth to move into position instead of cramming them in like braces do. People end up with more symmetrical faces, nicer cheekbones, and straighter teeth after treatment, as well as reduction or resolution of issues like headaches, TMJ, and even sleep apnea. The DNA Appliance and the Homeoblock Appliance are two examples of this kind of treatment.

  • First, THANK YOU for writing this post and your honesty. You are someone I deem inspirational and beautiful, and it helps me to know I’m not alone in being self conscious about my teeth. I stupidly did not wear my retainers after having braces as a teenager and now the gap between my two front teeth is just as it was – such a sad waste of money! Please continue to share what you do – I’ve been eyeing invisalign, but was interested in the braces I read about it the comments section.

    xo, an American
    Warm Regards,
    www. Little Wild Heart .com

    That would make one less of us with croocked teeth…
    Your parralel between US vs. Europe/Australia regarding teeth is sadly perfectly true. I am French and my teeth aren’t perfectly aligned, arguing and admiting that this is part of my personality. But I do get self conscious about it sometimes, when standing for too long in front of a mirror !
    But I would never dare wearing braces for 18 months now that I am 27, just for aesthetic reasons !

  • Katerina C April, 29 2015, 11:24 / Reply

    :) I got mine at 22 while in collage. Metal braces. Met my husband with them. He was totally ok with it. Took them off in time for the wedding :). Go for it! It is better for teeth health. I never regret it. But I live in Europe and whitening is a big no no – chemicals, totally bad for you. Of course if I lived around extra white teeth I would whiten them- I am not that strong mentally :)

  • ONE tooth?! Please.

  • Cristiana April, 29 2015, 11:40 / Reply

    I don’t know about your crooked tooth, but my very crooked teeth took 18 month with Invisalign to turn into a beautiful smile. I should’ve done it years before. Even if took five years with Invisalign you can still go about your life normally and seldom anybody will notice it. I looove Invisalign!

  • Thanks for this post. 43 years old Brit living in U.S. for 30 years. I considered braces for a long time as I had a retained baby tooth.I finally took the plunge 19 months ago. I fully understand your dilemma. I’m glad I did this but cannot wait for it to be over.

    It’s a personal decision and braces are not without their trials and tribulations. My only regret is not doing it 15 years ago when I first looked into it. If you’re happy with your smile, great. If it’s something you’ll continue to think about, do it now. It’s really not too late. My mother was inspired and just got Invisalign.

  • J’habite en Belgique et j’ai l’impression qu’on fait tout de même attention aux dents. Je remercierai jamais assez mes parents de m’avoir rectifier ma dentition à l’âge de 11 ans. Il faut dire que ma dentition était extrêmement mauvaise et que j’avais du mal à manger. C’est un de mes meilleurs atouts et je fais attention malgré moi aux dentitions des personnes que je rencontre. Par contre, en ce qui concerne la blancheur absolue. C’est moindre.

  • I think it’s more important than it should be, *stories of people with better looking teeth being more likely to be hired for certain jobs come to mind* But it really is a personal thing. When I meet someone, I’m not put off if they don’t have perfect teeth – or if they do for that matter. I had braces because it was normal to, everyone did and my dentist said I should. When I look back at old photos I’m really glad I did but If I hadn’t of had them, I’m not sure I’d still want to

  • I’ve thought about braces as an adult to fix my two lower middle teeth that overlap. I’ve asked my dentist and he assured me it would be purely cosmetic. There are some things about each of us that make us who we are as individuals and that our friends love about us. In your case, call it your “Garance-ness”. I’ll never forget when one of my friends got veneers and burst into tears when I asked her how she liked them. She said now all she saw in the mirror when she smiled was her Mom’s smile and not her own. I go to the dentist every 6 months, use my electric toothbrush, floss and whiten. I prefer to embrace the fact that I have very healthy teeth.

  • I’ve had the noticeable brace for 2 years, though I was 13. I think its worth it. Not just because of perfectionism or being more confident, but also because its easier to clean and keeps your teeth healthy when you’re older. You will not regret it!

  • I had Invisalign braces put on when I was 36 and I have to say it was one of the better decisions I’ve made. It truly is a breeze! They really are not at all noticeable and you can take them off to eat. It really is so simple and painless that I can’t recommend them enough!! I had a serious problem with my bite which has been totally corrected and would have caused very serious problems as I got older. I did not have braces as a child. If I don’t say so myself, I have quite a nice American smile now and am free from future orthodontic worries! I say go for it!!!

  • Neada, welcome to the land of white teeth! I am not from here as well, and the perfect teeth was the first thing I noticed on Americans after I got over the shock of seeing someone in the airport wearing pajamas!! I still can’t get over that.
    My lower teeth are not Julia Robert’s by any chance, but I also realized that I actually don’t mind it! So I decided not to get braces but I definitely took up whitening my teeth and I do it pretty religiously since I drink I lot of tea!

  • Neada, welcome to the land of white teeth! The perfect teeth was the first thing I noticed on Americans after I got over the shock of seeing someone in the airport wearing pajamas!! I still can’t get over that.
    My lower teeth are not Julia Robert’s by any chance, but I also realized that I actually don’t mind it! So I decided not to get braces but I definitely took up whitening my teeth and I do it pretty religiously since I drink I lot of tea!

  • Perfect white teeth are seriously unattractive.

    Straighten your hair, use contact lenses, correct your teeth and don’t forget your anti-anxiety meds. It gives the impression of someone who will try to “correct” everything, instead of looking for love and acceptance in reality. It’s the very opposite of love.

  • Laurence D April, 29 2015, 12:27 / Reply

    Choisis la France plutôt que le dentiste! Ici on trouvera ça charmant.

  • Adélaïde April, 29 2015, 12:47 / Reply

    Comme je te comprends… Je porte un appareil lingual depuis 8 mois, et pour deux mois encore, pour corriger des dents mal alignées qui me gênaient. Cela ne m’a jamais empêché de sourire, mais je trouvais ça disgracieux sur les photos. Dans mon entourage, on ne comprend pas trop pourquoi je me soumets à cette “torture” (je vis en France ;-), et c’est vrai que c’est gênant (pour parler, pour manger… d’autant plus que je dois porter des élastiques), mais je ne regrette absolument pas : en 3 mois, mes dents se sont quasiment parfaitement alignées, et cela me fait un bien fou de me voir avec un sourire harmonieux. Je ne cherche pas le perfection, je trouve aussi que les dents ultra blanches et super bien alignées font parfois un peu flipper quand c’est trop, mais quand même, pouvoir sourire sans complexe, c’est vraiment bon! Le lingual est ce qui coûte le plus cher, en revanche c’est hyper efficace. Renseignes-toi, tu seras surprise de voir que le traitement pourrait être beaucoup plus court qu’avec Invisalign. Un point important aussi qui a été souligné : des dents mal positionnées s’accompagnent souvent d’une mauvaise occlusion, ce qui joue en effet sur l’ensemble du corps. Redresser ses dents peut donc prévenir nombre de problèmes qui surgiraient en vieillissant. Vraiment, sur le long terme, tu ne le regretteras pas ! (mais surtout n’oublie pas de te faire poser une contention à vie pour éviter que tes dents ne bougent à nouveau, car les dents bougent toute la vie !)

  • La quatrième solution est d’aller vivre ailleurs!
    Loin des dents parfaites
    C’est fou le nombre de personnes
    que j’ai croisées lors de mes pérégrinations
    qui sont tellement beaux
    avec leurs – LEURS AU PLURIEL!-
    dents de travers.
    Et même ceux à qui il manque des dents.
    Ils sont même
    si si
    c’est possible!

  • J’adore tes articles :) comme d’habitude :) :)

    Bisous de France, Sandy :)

  • laeticia casta , lou douillon, les canines de kirsten dunst, les dents écartées de béatrice dalle et vanessa paradis…

  • Rousspétée April, 29 2015, 1:10 / Reply

    Un beau sourire, ça irradie de l’intérieur. Avec des dents propres, on est d’accord, mais qui sait si tu ne regretteras pas ta dent de travers après coup ? Et merde à la perfection ! (de toutes façons, c’est d’un ennui, la perfection !)

  • Kirsten Dunst made it to the top with her not-NY smile. Love you as you are, everybody such as your boyfriend like those little details that make people real !

  • marquette April, 29 2015, 1:26 / Reply

    Garance, j’ai porté un appareil pendant 18 mois à 30 ans…
    2 simples dents (1 en haut et 1 en bas sinon ce serait trop facile…) qui ME paraissait de travers, alors que tous le monde me disait : “mais ton sourire est top, tu nous fais quoi là ?”. J’en faisait des cauchemars (où je perdais mes dents), cela devenait une obsession…
    J’ai opté pour des bagues linguales… J’ai zozotté pendant 3 jours, cela m’a un peu irrité la langue (vraiment rien de méchant), je me suis allégé de 5000€ (en plusieurs paiements étalé) mais j’ai vu le résultat très très rapidement. Incroyable après 15j, je me suis réveillé un matin avec les dents droites !!! Le reste du traitement à servi à stabiliser le résultat.
    Je ne fais de cauchemars et je souris à longueur de journée… :-D

  • Have you considered lingual braces? They’re like metal braces but they’re fixed to the back of your teeth instead of the front, making them much more discrete.

  • “Everyone in America has perfect teeth” is a pretty broad statement, maybe you should broaden your world slightly and look at the real America. Also look at some of the very famous people with not so perfect smiles who are more interesting on the outside because of it.
    Let’s not perpetuate being perfect!

  • I’m 55 and thought I had straight teeth but curved when looking at the profile. My teeth were not overlapping but my top and bottom were aligned. I didn’t know that the top teeth were supposed to OVERLAP the bottom one. At night I find that I clench my teeth (top and bottom) gnashing them which caused like pressure when I woke up, which my orthodontist said could lead to further problems.
    I consulted with the best Ortho in San Diego, California. It cost $10,000 and he did not pressure me one bit. I desperately wanted better teeth but thought I would die getting braces at my age. Anyway, I figure, what is money if it can’t buy you personal unadulterated betterment of your self and self image. SO, I should be taking them off in a month or less… and I am sooo ready. Do not listen to the nay sayers as they are not you and are not living your life. They probably already had braces as a kid and don’t see the value of someone not liking their snaggle tooth. It is so important to like who you are – sure – that is why I would say to you…. GO FOR IT.
    I got the ceramic ones ($500 more). To be certain, my Orthodontist has got 5 stars all over the place… it is a nice swanky, very modern place with the best machines..and I see adults every time I am there (monthly). Let me be clear
    about it. There is VERY little pain – nothing you cannot endure and go back to work. I have not taken any pain killers. The only thing that killed me was vanity and what people would say about me getting braces at my “age”. Most people barely noticed (white ceramic brackets with metal wire). People that say you can’t eat anything probably went to a sub standard Orthodontist (my friend who did it said she just had soup – bunch of nonsense). Sure it was a bit difficult to get used to in a month, but I’ve had chips and nuts (several months later but carefully). Nothing broke.
    One one bracket came off but it was the day after my monthly appt. so I think the technician had already knocked it off loose by accident. No drama, no nothing. I am sad to see people here, trying to impose their sense of “be yourself” on someone who just wants to be happy with their looks – you only live once and you live with yourself every day…why not be the best you can be. It is only 18 months…. My husband always said I look cute with my braces – he’s sweet. For sure, there are a few things to get used to, but horrible pain etc is just plain plain plain exaggeration. Trust me, people I have met told me this too, oh the pain, the things you couldn’t eat, etc etc…
    Utter nonsense…Use a water pick after EVERY thing you eat or at least rinse your mouth (we should all do it anyway) and research the BEST orthodontist. Not all are created equal. Not at all. I’m glad I went with the best not the cheapest. Good Luck and go do it. You will not regret. I am getting mine off in a month or less. Yes !!

  • peu importe April, 29 2015, 2:11 / Reply

    c’est une erreur que font les femmes de penser que la beauté passe par la perfection. demandez aux hommes autour de vous et ils vous diront qu’ils aiment (et je cite sans rien inventer! ) : les bras mous, les longs nez, les grosses cuisses molles et blanches(!), ou, oui, les dents croches….

  • Je rêve aussi du sourire parfait. J’ai porté un appareil quand j’étais ado mais malgré tout mon sourire n’est pas parfait d’après moi, j’ai une dent qui est à peine plus petite et même si on me dit que ça donne du charme, je suis moyen convaincue et aussi un peu perfectionniste, j’adorerai avoir un sourire parfait :) Est-ce que les américains utilisent les facettes?

  • Mélanie April, 29 2015, 2:28 / Reply

    Why not, but …
    every time i think about my teeth, not perfect but pretty, and want to fix it, I remind me ones of Kate and Giorgia May and I smile even more :D

  • I live in the UK where we’re much more relaxed about our teeth (I imagine similar to Australia), and grew up never bothering to get braces, despite having overlapping front teeth. Since I was 15 though, I HATED my teeth (never smiled with my teeth in photos, worried what other people thought of them when they met me), and they made me really insecure, so in January, at the age of 25, I got fixed braces and I’m already ecstatic with the results. I would consult your dentist again because I have fast track braces that only have to be on 6-9months, and already I can see what my teeth will look like in the end. My teeth were really bad so I can’t imagine why it would take 3 years for one tooth. My dentist showed me pictures of what my teeth were like at the start at my last appointment and I was totally shocked – despite feeling so bad about them in the first place, I remembered them as less severely crooked than they were.

    Having said that, if you’ve only felt like this since comparing yourself to others it may not be worth it. I personally don’t think one misaligned tooth is bad, and I really like when others have a quirky smile. I’ve been really surprised at the amount of people who now mention their slightly misaligned teeth to me, like they think I’m judging them because I have braces, which could not be further from the truth. I was also really surprised at the amount of people that didn’t even think I needed braces, which at first made me feel quite vain, but I did it completely for myself and my confidence so as vain as it may be, I am already so much happier.

    Sorry to ramble, I have a lot of feelings on the subject! In short: don’t do it for others, do it for yourself.

  • Unless it’s truly bothering you, forgo the braces and embrace your unique beauty! Remember such beauties as Lauren Hutton, Georgia May Jagger, Kirsten Dunst, etc.

  • My two cents: DON’T. From what I’ve seen, your teeth look straight and perfect as they are! I had braces growing up, because my teeth would have grown in severely messed up without serious intervention (and I mean tooth removal, head gear, retainers, the whole nine yards). Having already been through it, I say don’t go through the pain, dentist visits, and money just to “fix” one tooth. Imagine Lauren Hutton or Lara Stone without their tooth gap, or Kate Moss without her charming snaggletooth. Embrace your uniqueness!

  • Surtout garde ta dent de travers , c’est ta signature ( référence à un article que j’ai lu ici il y a quelques années ????)

  • J’ai eu des bagues quand j’étais ado, pendant quelques mois, parce que bon c’est un peu le passage obligé … depuis que je l’ai ai enlevées, ma dentition a encore bougé un peu. C’était bien aligné, nickel, et je me rends compte que j’ai une incisive sur le côté qui commence à se tourner un peu. Evidemment sur le coup quand j’ai réalisé jme suis dit merde, mais en fait ça ne me dérange pas du tout. Je me surprends à bien aimer même :) . Avoir une dentition parfaite, sans rien qui dépasse, ok c’est cool, mais si on ne fait pas partie de ces “bouches” là, c’est pas grave du tout. Tant qu’on a pas de gros soucis qui empêchent de manger correctement ou qui font mal bien sûr, je ne vois pas vraiment l’utilité d’aller chez un dentiste. Une ou deux dents de travers ça n’empêche pas d’avoir un sourire adorable ! Regarde Charlotte LeBon ;) C’est bête à dire mais ça a son charme je trouve. Alors tu peux garder tes dents comme elles sont Garance, c’est super cute !

  • Nathalie April, 29 2015, 3:16 / Reply

    Keep the tooth! I love a not-so-perfect smile, for example Audrey Tautou! Coming from Europe I do think we’re less fussy about a perfect smile (I keep thinking about the Friends episode with Ross’ glow in the dark teeth). I love a smile that has character and I love people who embrace their “imperfections”, it makes them all the more perfect in my eyes!

  • Ghislaine April, 29 2015, 3:22 / Reply

    Je suis totalement d’accord avec le commentaire Debora , je ne suis pas certaine que “tous les américains” ont des dents parfaites. Quand on sort des milieux branchés de Manhattan ou de Brooklyn, ou de Beverly Hills on s’en rend bien compte. “L’autre Amérique” en rêve…peut-être… pas sûr. Mais elle n’a certainement pas les moyens d’y accéder et pas le temps d’y penser.
    Et pourquoi vouloir être absolument parfait? Que traduit cette quête de la perfection incessante? Concernant le visage, Je crois que ce qui compte c’est une forme d’harmonie générale, que l’on ait les dents écartés, ou une dent de travers.

  • This article comes in perfect timing, I saw an orthodontist this afternoon and came back in tears. My problem can not be simply aligned with braces, I need also surgery. So it’s a big deal and I have to decide whether I’ll do it. It’s the best thing to do and it’s not even an esthetic decision anymore but more of a functional/health one. Same thing you described happened to me when I spent 1 year in America as an exchange student, I felt totally out of place with my crooked , not hiper white teeth, knowing that I should have had treatment when I was 9, or 10, or 14, I was 25 then and I’m 33 now. So, procrastinating didn’t help. There’s the money issue as well, c’est ne pas doné, and also the fact that most dentists and orthodontists are not as optimistic as they publicize when you get there with a severe problem. It took me a long time to face my dental problems, I was scared to death to see dentists, I’ve had had bad experiences in the past, which didn’t help….and then I just paralyzed out of shame…thinking they’ll be disgusted by my mouth which is miles away from the one in their brochure or all over their office. Now I’ve decided to just go for the whole thing, up to one year preparation (of gums and bone), one year braces, then surgery in the lower jaw, then one to two more years of braces. I guess I wanted to share this message with those who know there’s something wrong with their teeth and are afraid to face getting help. My awesome and empathetic and beautiful woman dentist has made the difference and helps me going through all of this. So yes, find someone you trust, get help. Bisous.

  • Do it! Go for braces! I just finished my brace period of 15 months and I am so happy with the result! And I am 32:-) I had the train tracks like Gwen and you can take the clear ones that are way less visible. Don’t hesitate any longer :-)

  • Hey there,

    It’s pretty rare for me to appear in the comments sections, but I couldn’t let this be. I’m 24, live in Prague, Czech republic and work with Americans. Their smiles do (sometimes) drive me crazy because they’re so perfect, straight, white. I did think about braces. I did think about whitening. I did try to imagine how would my face actually look on pictures if I could smile having my lips apart, showing off pretty teeth, if I had them.
    Couple weeks ago my dentist informed me that my front tooth has died. I’ll need a root canal and a crown. Front tooth. Fake tooth. At 24. I’m scared to death. And am gonna miss my not pretty, not American, not super white real tooth…

    What I’m trying to say is: It’s not our bodies what makes us pretty. Not our hair, teeth, skin, nail polish. (And yes, I realize that I sound like a hippie who doesn’t wash her her, doesn’t know what mascara is and has never lived in a developed society. But trust me on this one.) Or more importantly, trust your boyfriend. I would never get braces just to fit in. And perfection at any sense should not matter as it basically doesn’t exist.

    You’re beautiful!

  • I agree with Nathalie – keep your smile as is! Why do we all have to look like perfect Barbie dolls. A little imperfection adds character and charm.

  • You have to do what you feel is right for you. I had metal braces (which I got used to) put on when I was 20 after years of being self conscious about my ‘snaggletooth’ coupled with a very gummy smile. Every time I laughed I would cover my mouth. Getting braces for me, was a great decision. I wasn’t after perfect teeth, just to be able to laugh and be comfortable doing so. I love my teeth now! And I am Australian :). Do what’s right for you.

  • I totally feel with you. I had a crooked tooth as a teenager, wore braces twice for several years, but this one front tooth had a life on its own and would always move back in front of the other teeth. Back then I lived in Europe and I wasn’t feeling conscious about it as much as when I moved to NYC. Everyone had perfect teeth, and the perfect smile…..and I once overheard a conversation someone saying,…well European’s generally have bad teeth, they just don’t take care so much about their dental hygiene. After that I would no longer smile showing my teeth. Shortly after I moved to L.A., a place with excellent dentists (due to the film industry I suppose). I went to have my teeth checked and eventually had the front teeth redone with veneers and crowns. Now, 18 years later, I still do not regret to have had undergone this cosmetic dental surgery…..up to this date my teeth are perfectly straight and bright white.

  • Wow! How similar we are – I too had a “snaggle tooth” in my front teeth and just recently got braces at the age of 28. My braces are clear ceramic. I am a month in and LOVE them – no one notices I have them on and it will take about 18 months for me as well. I opted out of Invisalign however my doctor gave me the same timeframe for the trays. The braces do hurt the first week but you will lose weight!
    Very happy with my decision.

  • Don’t do it!
    Embrace your wabi-sabi! (Japenese term for beauty in imperfection)

    Don’t give in to peer pressure, you’re an adult woman, not a kid in middle school.

    I used to have very uneven teeth and wore braces for more than 3 years. My effect’s still not perfect, but I got to like it as it is. The treatment was very painful and I had to extract 4 teeth. I don’t think you need this Garance :)
    Much love!

  • 1) Leticia Casta – elle n’a pas de dents parfaitement alignées. Si c’était le cas, elle serait quelconque.
    2) Une de mes connaissances, une très jolie fille, s’est fait corriger ses dents avec un appareil – je ne la reconnais plus, il y a un truc qui manque…et je trouvais qu’elle avait plus de charme avec ses dents un peu de travers. Elle me manque l’ancienne copine…
    3) Je peux difficilement critiquer le port d’appareil, j’en ai eu un (à porter pendant la nuit uniquement) et j’ai des dents alignées. Mais je n’ai pourtant pas l’impression d’avoir un sourire genre pub pour chewing-gum.

  • I have a great, safe, and natural way to whiten teeth that I love!

    Put a tiny bit of toothpaste into a small cup, mix in one teaspoon baking soda plus one teaspoon of hydrogen peroxide, and half a teaspoon water. Thoroughly mix then brush your teeth for two minutes. Remember to do it once a week until you have reached the results you want. Once your teeth are good and white, limit yourself to using the whitening treatment once every month or two.

  • En fait, ici, en France ou à Paris, je ne sais pas (bah oui je suis à Paris alors je parle pour ce que je connais), c’est un sujet de moquerie le sourire ultra bright à l’américaine. Nous on trouve ça vraiment too much et absolument pas naturel ! Comme quoi, tout est culturel ! Les imperfections font les personnalités (en tout cas ici !)

  • Barbara April, 29 2015, 5:08 / Reply

    A few years before my 40th birthday, I decided I either had to get braces or stop obsessing about my teeth (I have always lived here in the land of perfect teeth, but in the 70s when I was a kid braces were not ubiquitous.) So i got braces for a little over a year. Yep. Metal. Ridiculous. Then, when I got them off, I realized just how much stress I gave myself about my crooked teeth. Much more than I was even aware of. It was like a huge weight lifted from me. Then again, it was a 20 or 30 year old weight of my front teeth overlapping and one of my incisors marching off in its own direction. I sometimes wish I’d kept the bottom ones slightly overlappingbut I’vetruly never regretted the decisino or my time in goofy looking braces. Here in the US I think people take you less seriously if your teeth aren’t straight (but again, that could be residue from my own personal mouth-shaming.)

  • I am not sure it is about perfect teeth or a hollywood smile. That might be true for some… Its true that orthodonture is a common practice in america for a variety of reasons, not just cosmetic. It is probably somewhat based on economics and class ( being able to afford it) In many parts of the country it is a value for families to have their children’s mouth corrected, teeth realignment fixing an over or under bite etc. Im weary of the idea of looking for perfection… if that is what your after there will always be something to fix…. best of luck in making your decision.

  • Hi Garance and team!

    I have bunny rabbit teeth and I wouldn’t change them for the world! I do plan to use whitening strips because I just quit smoking (albeit one or two a day!)….My theory is, only get braces if you really feel it will make a difference to how you feel! If you are in a world of perfect teeth and it really bothers you, by all means go for it! Sometimes, unusual teeth, such as those with spaces between the two front ones can be very cute and appealing!!

    Kiss kiss,
    adorn la femme

  • Don’t do something for others or to fit it!! Clones are not cool. Kids don’t care as much about other people’s standards, so if you liked your snaggletooth as a kid, it’s probably true. Different, especially if you like it, is what saves us from insane boredom.

  • Caroline V. April, 29 2015, 6:48 / Reply

    Invisalign sans hésiter !

    J’ai testé, en six mois ça a été miraculeux. Je sortais de pas mal d’années d’orthodontie, j’étais en terminale, mes dents s’étaient re-décalées vers l’avant (coucou le lapin) mais je me voyais mal reprendre les bagues… J’étais presque décidée à rester comme ça (“c’est ce qui fait ton charme”), j’avais aussi appris à adapter mon sourire (baisse-toi lèvre supérieure, baisse-toi !) et j’ai finalement découvert ça !

    Tu souffres toutes les deux semaines mais c’est hyper discret, tu peux presque comparer le avant-après en direct, j’en suis tombée amoureuse et je n’ai qu’un seul regret : ne pas avoir connu cette merveille plus tôt.

  • I had braces for 2 years at the age of 37. Best decision of my life. I had TMJ and the re-alignment of my jaw was worth the 2 years of metal mouth. My orthodontist also drew my incisors down and fixed my bite. I think next to plastic surgeons, orthodontists are the on the forefront of aesthetics. Find a good one. Ask around. It’s totally worth it, well, the retainer kind of stinks but I still wear it faithfully at night at 48.

  • Kristen April, 29 2015, 8:50 / Reply

    Ooh, that’s a tricky one! As I was reading it, I thought, “screw societal expectations and rock that snaggletooth! You probably look great anyways!” But really, it’s up to you, if the pain and visual distraction is worth it. I had braces for three years in middle school and it sucked but now they’re off and I’m in high school. However, my bite is still off because of my jaw and the only way to fix it would be to get jaw surgery. At first, I was scared but I felt (and still do) feel really self-conscious about my underbite at times, and then I really wanted to get the surgery. Basically they cut into your bone and realign it and I can’t eat hard food blahblahblah, but anyways, I haven’t done it and don’t know if I want to. I told my friends and one of them said, “I like your underbite!” And I was thinking, ‘really?’ Point is, it’s what makes you YOU, and it’s probably really unnoticeable to others, like a bad hair day or a pimple. 18 months isn’t toooo bad but I have a feeling you’re fine without them too, if it’s just for that one tooth!

  • I’m 56 years old and just had my braces removed a couple of years ago. I agree that it’s ridiculous that everyone under 40 in the US has perfect Chiclet teeth. Everyone here is really beginning to look the same. My husband, who is very handsome, has somewhat crooked teeth which I feel just adds to his charm! In the words of Elton John–“pirate smile”.
    My bottom teeth were very crooked and I was having some crowding issues. I had to have a tooth pulled right in front, which took some courage but I have a low profile smile so it wasn’t so bad looking like Ellie May Clampet for a little while. Right now, my teeth look great but they are not perfect and still maintain some of their originality. I’m really happy I went through with it. It wasn’t so bad and I did get a lot of weird looks but I’m at the point in my life where I don’t really care! Lots of freedom in that! I also dropped about 10 lbs that first month and that was an extra perk. If you don’t like your smile–go for it!

  • Pauletta Pilgrim April, 29 2015, 10:36 / Reply

    Whitening your teeth makes them porous and opens the door to other problems .. your dentist won’t tell you that … you are his income …

  • Hi Neada, a friend of mine had these invisible braces (quite painful and enervating, she couldn’t eat “normal” for 2 years). When they took them off, the teeth where perfectly lined up. But I don’t like them at all on her. Her “old” teeth where so much more charming and feminine than the new ones. I can’t describe it really. I still am disappointed every time I look at her today, because I miss the genuine, much more charming her, than the new, a bit boring version.
    To me, it is more bout the color. White teeth do look nicer than yellow ones. But do the have to be stick straight? For me: NO!!!!(well, ok, if you don’t look like the

  • I used to wear braces back in high school, supposedly just for one year, but stretched to two because I usually didn’t come back to my dentist appointments until much later. Well, after 2 years, my teeth became straight, then I had to wear retainers, to retain the straightness of my teeth. Being the kid I was, of course I didn’t wear it religiously, and I hated the feeling of food getting stuck in it (I had to wear it even while eating). So now my teeth were almost back to their original state! And I really don’t mind! :)

  • I am from Europe, and, as you said, we do not care about it so much, but I have one of really few things I REGRET in my life – I DID HAVE BRACES as adult just to keep up with the idea of perfection. I really feel I have lost something very characteristic of mine which I would appreciate now being a confident personality in my late 30s. It`s not about perfection, it`s about individuality.

  • Ohh, thanks to try to give us complex. If i come here, it’s more for the “don’t be the ultimate perfect girl” and NOT “have the same smile than everyone to fit in a problematical society”. My teeth are good, not perfect, like my nose, my hair, my waist line, but it looks great together. After the braces, should i do surgery and diet to please your standard?

  • Invisalign ne dure pas 3 ans… Moi ca m’a pris environ 18 mois et je suis super satisfaite. Personne ne le voit, ca ne fait vraiment pas mal commes les bagues et on ne grignote plus (il faut enlever l’appareil, passe le fil dentaire et se laver les dents des que l’on mange quelque chose… Autant dire que je ne fais pas tout ca pr un bonbon!)

  • Pratique l’appareil dentaire transparent (qui vire jaunatre au bout de 2 mois) pour chanter I’m sexy and I know it.
    Nous attendons la suite de ce feuilleton palpitant avec impatience!

  • Garance you are pretty the way you are!
    If the braces will bring you more confidence with yourself go for it!

    It’s not about pefection as the americans are with beauty. It’s about having a smile that you look in the mirror and you feel proud about.
    The tooth can change the format of your face and your lips. In a long term you can have problems as headache and sometimes you have no choice. You have to put brace in you fifties because your bones changes.
    I got brace 2 times, when I was teenager for around of 4 years. I didn’t make the maintenance in a proper way so years later the tooth moved to the front which I think that looks horrible.
    So when I was 26 I got the Invisalign. It was a small correction and took nearly 2 years to fix up. Invisalign it’s unbelievable! Even if you spend 4 years that’s not a problem at all. It’s something that never annoyed me. It improved a lot the confidence with myself and today I’m very glad about that!

    I have a friend which is 40 years old and he chose 2 years ago to get braces. You know man are really cruel… all his friends made bad jokes about how they looked like with braces. But today he has beautiful tooth ( I don’t mean very perfect) and it changed his life, he likes what he sees in the mirror. And his friends still with horrible tooth.

    So think about it!

  • Amélie April, 30 2015, 3:43 / Reply

    Garde ta dent de travers !!!!
    Sérieusement , hors contexte social pesant ( parce que ca a clairement l air d être le cas !) tu avais l air de l aimer cette dent !
    Et puis ces deux défauts font ce qui rend chacun unique !
    D autant que ton amoureux a l air de penser cela …
    Assume , revendique et souris toutes dents dehors !
    Sérieusement !

  • Keep your teeth as they are. A beautiful smile doesn’t require perfectly straight teeth. No offence to anyone who has perfect, straight white teeth, but they lack character.

  • Totally agree, so important ;)


  • JUST had my braces removed, 6 months fixed and now 6 months invisalign, they now have something called ‘fast track braces’, get a few consultations with different dentists to compare, they will all say different things. I don’t regret it at all and now have gleaming straight, healthy teeth! Go for it!

  • Mariateresa April, 30 2015, 4:33 / Reply

    Il est vraiment un probleme le dents …; quel est le secret des americains? L’eau?

  • stay who you are, ( i am french living in israel where “american white bright smile” is everywhere)
    as for whitening i am using coconut oil pulling and it is A-MA-ZING
    a bit long but worth iti am not pulling 1/2 h as they say but 10 mn under the shower and really see the difference
    teeth like pearl

  • It could be that you already have a beautiful smile in spite of, or even more probably thanks to, your odd tooth (sorry, I don’t know the exact wording for ‘dent de travers’) ! Your smile is yours and it looks real, unlike all thes robocop standardised things that surround you. I’ve had these torture instruments on my teeth for something like 8 years as a kid and young teenager because I actually looked like Dracula, I suffered like hell (you must know that, the doctors seem to overlook this information) but now I have a very nice smile. My teeth started moving again a few years ago (I am now 40) and I have now an odd tooth (nothing comparable to the original situation) but it seems that it actually adds to th charm. Anyway I definitely do not consider going back to the torture thing – and I was told by my late father who was a dentist that it is actually dangerous to do such works on adults; teeth are basically bones, you don’t move them just like this, and the youger you are, the more flexible.

  • Je trouve beaucoup plus important et rassurant d’avoir les dents en…parfaite santé ? et si il y en a une de travers et qu’elle n’est pas la cause d’autres problèmes, et ben, je la garde comme ça. Invisalign est génial mais ça prend tellement de temps!

  • J’avoue, je ne commente jamais (grosse flemmarde du commentaire) mais là je dois donner mon avis !! une dent de traviole ? et alors ? Je fais partie de ces filles dont le copain aime sa petite dent pas tout a fait alignée, un jour au restaurant il m’a dit “t’as un sourire trop sexy !!” “ah bon ????!!” “oui, j’aime trop ta petite dent de travers !” VERIDIQUE !! Et ce compliment figure dans le top 5 de tous ceux que j’ai pu recevoir !! ça fait partie de ces petites imperfections qui font tous le charme d’une personne… Pourquoi vouloir tous le même sourire ?? Tiens bon !

  • J’avais pas remarqué que vous aviez une dent de travers franchement. Du coup j’ai fait une recherche sur google pour voir ça de plus près… Vous êtes juste trop magnifique! J’habite à Londres et j’ai vu le bouquin de comment être parisienne (bullshit) mais enfin bon le truc c’est qu’ils se demandent comment font les françaises pour avoir la classe. Et si c’était de faire avec nos défauts (visible ou pas)? D’en prendre parti et d’en faire quelque chose de magnifique juste en étant nous-mêmes (oh la la Macdonald’s quote!). Après si vous voulez devenir américaine pourquoi pas. Je comprends le dilemme moi aussi j’ai les dents de traviole mais vu que j’habite Londres je suis pas trop complexée en fait. Moi quand j’hésite je me dis “En ai-je vraiment besoin?”. Mais déjà si j’hésite c’est que j’en ai pas besoin.

  • Savannah April, 30 2015, 6:02 / Reply

    Garance! Never fear! You can get the ‘ugly metal braces’ but in a ‘cosmetic’ version… they’re designed to match in with your smile and they are A LOT less noticeable. MUCH less noticeable than the fluoro pink and green gems I had when I was 16. Ask your dentist/orthodontist. Think of them as an investment! :)

  • mademoiselle mauve May, 2 2015, 4:52

    it’s not Garance who has written this post but Neada :)

  • Les défauts dans l’alignement des dents c’est charmant jusque 40 ans justement après la mâchoire se resserre, les défauts s’accentuent et c’est MOCHE! Vous avez vu les dents de Béatrice Dalle maintenant, qui peut trouver ca charmant ??

  • Janamarie April, 30 2015, 8:08 / Reply

    J´ai decidé pour les bagues en céramique en 35 ans et je suis tres ravie. Elles sont ultra discrete.

  • Je ne suis pas sure de bien saisir le message que tu veux nous faire passer là. Tu as toujours pensé que ta dent de travers te donnais de la personnalité, ton mec l’apprécie et le sourire parfait n’a pas une place importante dans ta culture. Mais alors où le problème au juste? Pourquoi ne pas garder ce “particularisme” qui fait ton charme? La culture américaine a quand même bon nombres d’aspects bien plus intéressants à embrasser que celui de se soumettre à l’uniformité dentaire non? Et cela au prix de trois années de vie d’adulte affublée de bagues dentaires…
    Excusez moi cette réaction un peu vive, mais j’étais un peu navrée de lire cette article.

  • If you don’t like your teeth, fix them! Simple. I fixed mine at 38 with braces. It wasn’t a big deal and it wasn’t painful. I too had a snaggle tooth. It’s gone now. And my smile is straight but natural. I don’t have veneers or chicklet white teeth like the Hollywood Perfect smile (did not want that) but rather I have normal, clean, every-day human teeth that are straight and leaning towards a nice, natural shade of white. And I’m happy. I used to think self-consciously about the snaggle tooth all the time! Now I never do!It’s great. Cost was about $5,000 and it was worth every penny. I did the Damon system of actual braces. 18 months.

  • Off topic: where can we get the necklace in the photo?

    On topic: do what is true to you. I got invisalign in my early 20s, and when that didn’t completely correct, found a brilliant orthodontist and had ceramic braces for 4 months at the age of 27. And have never regretted any of it, because I used to be so miserable about my teeth, and now I love my teeth and everyone compliments them and I smile all the time. I was told I smiled all the time before but I smiled as you do: self consciously. That is not a smile! It breaks the joy of the smile while you are worrying inside. And everyone said “but your teeth are cute.” It didn’t matter, because it’s always personal. So do whatever you need to do for your own happiness.

  • Je suis étudiante en dentaire, alors je comprends ce dont tu parles :) On reconnaît toujours les Américains à leur sourire justement, mais je pense qu’il ne faut pas céder au trop parfait ou trop blanc… Il faut garder sa spécificité, son charme, rien de mieux qu’une dent très légèrement de travers !

  • No no no! On n’est pas né pour etre parfaits, on est pas tous des clones, vive les singularités!
    Moi j’adore les dents un peu de traviole, je trouve d’ailleurs que celles de mon ex faisaient tout son charme et je ne l’aurais pas imaginé sans.
    Garde tes différences, elles sont précieuses.
    Du moment que tes dents sont saines et blanches (oui, ca ca compte!) c’est l’essentiel

  • Ahhhhh! Okay I don’t usually comment much but here I feel like I have to write something. First of all I am French and have been living in the US for almost 7 years. When I first read your post title, I smiled and thought to myself “hell yeah! This is so absolutely true” as I had just recently been talking about that perfect American smile with some friends here. I worked in a retail store for a couple years and I had noticed how American peeps all seemed to have the exact same perfect smile, especially teenage-ish-younger-girls&boys. Exactly what you described, then I saw some of my friends going for braces (early 30s). I mean one of my very beautiful girlfriend went for it. She was (still is) a true beauty (think Kate Moss type of beauty). She had a beautiful smile, now her smile is just perfect but you know what, it misses the “je ne sais quoi” that made it stand out. After the braces came the time for the after-pregnancy-fake-boobs and I busted her starting bottox!!! Where/when does it stop? Again she was such an amazing beauty but the search of perfection has already taken away so much of her natural charme. Her smile is just like any other one now, perfect & bright but so so so common. On the other hand, I never had (ever!) the perfect teeth, people used to tease me growing up because they where so big! But I grew to be okay with it and after living for quite a while in the US I even started to like my un-perfect smile. I did think about whitening and all but so far no. I should completely quit smoking first! I know I know. Then a few weeks ago I went out surfing, got hit by my longboard and walked out of the water with half a (big) front-tooth missing…! I cried. But after just a few days I got totally used to it. Hubby even told me he kinda really liked it. True it doesn’t look great on photo but so what…shit happen and I am so happy to be here to laugh about it. I did consider not fixing it and making it a statement now I do have to fix it to preserve the nerve and the tooth so I will, soon. Meanwhile I don’t give a damn F* and LOVE un-perfect smiles. If your boyfriend likes it that way and if the only reason you’re considering braces is your social context then I’d say: forget about it! You said that growing up you liked your teeth….preserve your inner-child and save the money !!! And take a look here if you want to feel MUCH better about your smile !!!

  • Hello, ah les affres du j’y vais, j’y vais pas….
    je termine une année d’appareil dentaire pour redresser cette fameuse dent de travers. Des bagues en céramique toute petites que finalement plus personne ne voit. C’est mieux les bagues céramique, elles ne deviennent pas fluo quand tu manges un fabuleux curry indien et ne virent pas violette si tu fais un sort au pot de confiture de mures.
    Porter un appareil c’est médical. Et si tu as une cheville foulée, tu portes bien une orthèse non ? Bref, ça ne dure que quelques mois (même si c’est quand même loooong!). Bien sûr, ça fait un mal de chien au début, c’est contraignant tu deviens obsédée par la brosse à dent et la laitue est ton pire ennemie ou alors ce sont les échalottes.
    Le vrai enjeu c’est la santé de tes dents. Sera-t-elle fragilisée à la longue et risque t-elle de casser ? Est-ce que ça te gène tous les jours ? Est-ce qu’elle continue à bouger ?
    Il faut être prêt, pour assumer joyeusement cette spécificité de l’orthodontie adulte, traumatisée par 5 ans de bagues à l’adolescence. J’ai mis 4 ans à me décider, mais je ne regrette pas, et même si j’avais su, je l’aurais fait plus tôt. Parce que quand ça se termine, c’est super !
    Si tu te lances, avance fièrement et souris, ne serait-ce que pour t’entendre dire “Wow! c’est dingue, ça a drôlement bougé!” :)

  • I say, don’t make the change! You’ve always been happy with your smile, don’t let standards of beauty stop you from seeing how beautiful you’ve always been.

    My boyfriend has two front teeth that are so crooked they actually overlap one another in the front and I find it extremely sexy for some reason. It makes his smile so uniquely him–and he’s never tried to hide it. If your boyfriend is telling you that he loves your snaggletooth I doubt he’s lying and I doubt he’s alone!

    Right now I am living in Japan where snaggletooths (snaggleteeth?) are considered cute and desirable, and it’s those of us with straight teeth who are considered out of style.

  • Same here in Quebec. We consider those american blueish scintillating too-straight teeth to be very odd. Plus I can almost always tell when someone has had braces, because they get those loose deformed lips afterwards. My two cents!

  • No, don’t do it! Absolutely don’t do it! All my life I had a funny sort of crooked smile and I thought it was awful so I waited and waited and as a much older adult endured orthodontia for three years and emerged with perfect teeth and guess what? I MISS MY OLD SMILE! Now that I am even older still, I realize character is your best asset and that part of me that was not “perfect” according to the American conformed standard was one of my best features!
    I now look like any other clone of good dentistry. I ask you, do you really want to look just like everyone else or your own very unique and interesting–and probably beautiful!–you?

  • I’ve always appreciated that my parents got me braces! I love getting complemented on my smile because it took 3 years of pain to get it!! Ha! I think getting braces as an adult is totally cool and you’ll be glad you did it!

    My sister-in-law got invisalign and it only took a little over a year! Maybe try consulting another orthodontist before making your decision. It’s always good to get a second opinion!

  • Neada, the same thoughts have been going through my head for months now! I’m from Germany, so the “extremely perfect teeth” thing isn’t as big as it is in the States. However I did have braces for almost two years and it did straighten my teeth….up to a point. I guess they weren’t on long enough to straighten out my canines, which, in my mind, are protruding like crazy! So much so that I’ve also perfected the “show as little tooth as possible” smile…sad, right? But I’m quite self-conscious about it and have considered Invisalign. I might do it, too, the time it takes to straighten it isn’t that off-putting. I don’t need immediate results, as long as I get them with time. And if I can avoid the physical and emotional pain of having metal braces again, SIGN ME UP!
    Good luck with whatever you choose :) xx

  • Allie May, 1 2015, 5:40 / Reply

    I got braces for very crooked teeth when I was 30. Two years later I had a perfect smile, but it wasn’t mine and I didn’t feel like me! So when they came off, I never bothered with my retainer (except for when I felt guilty over all the money – I’m still paying it off) and my teeth have gone back to their (not quite so) crooked selves. And I am me again at 37.

    And I’m only conscious of my teeth when in the company of Americans..

  • camous May, 1 2015, 7:06 / Reply

    I am from France so it’s true we don’t go overboard with teeth whitening and so on… but of course it’s still nice to have a nice smile.

    I personally think that it doesn’t matter if one or two teeth aren’t straight as long as it doesn’t look too bad. I had a lot of problem with my teeth when I was younger so I had to wear braces. Well if I could avoid it , trust me I woudl have say no! The dentist pulled out ttwo healthy teeth in order to have space to push back the front ones. So I had a gap that was suppose to disappear..when she removed the braces my teeth moved again so I have a gap now, It’s so too visible but it disturbed the structure of my teeth, so I have easily cavities and so on, can’t chew food properly which creates stomac issues… and I am just 24!

    Braces aren’t something to consider lightly they do alter the structure of your mouth so if I was you I would shake out something called “dentosophie” because it’s a more holistic approach. But if you have a good structure keep your teeth as it is, I think it gives some personnality so don’t worry :)

  • Myrna May, 1 2015, 7:10 / Reply

    I had mine in my mid 30’s. Everyone noticed for sure. I had a slightly crooked bottom tooth and felt it would be great to have them straightened. I went to a very good orthodontist who gave me a few options. It was very brave thing to do and I was able to shorten the time with them. I got used to them too. If you want to improve your health, go ahead and do it. I’ll sure you won’t regret it. Besides the time will pass anyway; wouldn’t you rather look back and say, “I used it wisely”. Be confident.


  • velouria May, 1 2015, 7:44 / Reply

    kirsten dunst n’aurait pas autant de charme avec les dents refaites

  • Cecilija May, 1 2015, 9:30 / Reply

    I had the most uneven teeth in the world, so I ended up with 3,5 years of full-on metal braces. It was a torment, but I am very happy I did it, because now I have a beautiful, big smile. Still, I am also happy that one of my teeth found its way back towards its initial position, just as a slight reminder, an indication of its original, crooked characted- it makeS my teeth unique and, I believe, charming instead of the terrifying white perfection I had when my braces were removed. So, I say – unless the situation is dramatic, like mine was (think Steve Buscemi Vampire), keep what you’ve got and enjoy your uniqueness! Embrace, rather then brace:)

    Also, I am now head over heels in love wih a gay with very prominent tooth gap and it only makes him even more sexy!:)

  • My boyfriend had the same reaction when I told him I was getting Invisaligns. He was so sad because he liked my smile exactly as it was and didn’t want it to change. It was the sweetest thing – which definitely made me hesitate. But, it was too late since I had already made up my mind to do it and had paid.

    There’s something to be said about embracing uniqueness. We vacillate between finding artisanal handmade objects with imperfections; but, on the other hand, we aggressively “correct” things like teeth or hair (let’s not even get into cosmetic surgery!).

    The funniest part? One major reason why I wanted to get Invisaligns was my boyfriend’s insanely straight and perfect teeth!!

  • No, not everyone in America has gorgeous straight white teeth. Not the poor. Perhaps on TV and the media but not all Americans. I certainly don’t, and in fact I hate my teeth and almost never smile in pictures. And I had braces paid for through welfare because my parents were poor. The braces helped but did not work miracles. I had to have 4 teeth pulled to make way for the other teeth which were sticking out high up in gums so the teeth are not in nice size order, braces can not change this. In the process though, I had multiple teeth damaged by an unscrupulous dentist which left me with 4 missing molars as an adult (this was in addition to the 4 I had pulled at 14 for a total of 8). And I can not afford to replace the 4 teeth with implants. And one tooth can not be replaced at all because the last root canal I had was done incorrectly, the tooth had to be pulled and I now have permanent nerve damage. So no, not all Americans have great teeth. I wish a snaggle tooth was my biggest concern or the thing that I liked least about myself. If I could afford it I would get veneers. But nope. So yes, embrace your uniqueness and don’t fret such trivial things. You are beautiful, talented, healthy, successful, have a great ( and I bet good looking) boyfriend, and get paid to due what you love. A snaggle tooth is just the Universe’s way of reminding you, you are human.

    Allie of ALLIENYC

  • Katie May, 1 2015, 7:18 / Reply

    I’m 26 and had three retainers, a bionator (basically an almost-mouthguard you wear all the time) and four years of braces when I was growing up. Even though I ended with a perfect smile, a few years out of that all means a lot of things have shifted and my lower teeth are out of alignment again and my upper snaggletooth (or my “fang” as I call it) is loud and proud once again. Don’t worry about it unless it really bothers you, and even if you get it fixed, remember that you might have to wear a mouthguard at night every day for the rest of your life to keep your new smile!

  • Yo Neada, I wasn’t offered braces until just before high school prom and at that point it was “only for cosmetic purposes”, so I declined. Thank goodness because I think going through university with braces would have been way worse than having them as a more secure, working adult. At 26 I got braces when my new dentist was shocked I had escaped them for so long because I had a crossbite/open bite. He said that later on in life, it could give me some trouble with my jaw, but there was no way to know if it would or not. So I took the plunge and got braces–for my health. I don’t fancy being 80 and wasting away because it’s too painful to chew my food. I actually miss my imperfect teeth, because I like a smile with some character. That said, they told me it would take 23 months for regular metal braces to work on me, and BAM it took 13. I’m so glad I didn’t hesitate and just took the plunge, because if I deliberated it would just meant pushing things back until I was months or years older, and as it is my braces are over with. Amazing how fast orthodoontics work when you’re an adult and actually follow instructions about wearing your elastics etc. ;) I’ve heard that they take longer to work the older you are, so if you will want them at some point, sooner is better…

    If it’s just one tooth though… I would treasure it, given the choice. No matter what you choose, make sure it’s something you can smile big about!

  • Sarah May, 2 2015, 6:53 / Reply

    Dont’ do it ! When I was a teenager, I insisted to have brace, even if my teeth were juste slightly disturbed on the bottom. Actually, nobody but me could see that there was a problem, but I was so insecure in myself that it seemed like it was something that absolutely needed to be fix. So I got braces, but 3 to 4 years later I felt like my teeth had gone back to the start. Wich is actually ok for me now, because I realised it was really nothing, it can’t be seen by other people, and now I totally accept it as a part of me. But having braces is one of the biggest regrets of my life, because I didn’t need it, the results are gone, and so I did a whim for nothing at my parents, who invested a lot of money in it.

    So of course, my reasons are very personal, but I really think you should embrace your tooth as a part of you, something very personnal (especially if your friends and boyfriend love it as part of you!). Being cool and beautiful is not about being perfect, to me it’s about confidence and charm and personnality. Look at young Brigitte Bardot and Catherine Deneuve: both are gorgeous, but Deneuve has a very smooth face when Bardot has more character, she’s a but less perfect, and therefore I think Bardot’s face is much more interessant, because it have more personnality.

  • Well brace yourself G… and EMBRACE diversity and your difference !

  • Yes!i’m with you,but what anout nasolabial falds?!i heard they can react in a bad way(i hope it’s not true))??and i like keira nightly perfectlly with clothes hard work and…effortless result!;))i would do my smile if i found a good dentist

  • French Pauline May, 3 2015, 9:10 / Reply

    Je pense que tu devrais créer un hashtag #ienjoymyteeth et commencer à decomplexer toutes les americaines. Personnellement j’ai les canines qui ressortent et ma mère m’a toujours interdit de les faire aligner. Elle adore le petit air particulier que ça me donne^^)
    Moi j’adore la mode mais je déteste le conformisme…

  • Martine May, 4 2015, 8:24 / Reply

    If you want to do it, do it. But be careful. Pushing your teeth around isn’t necessarily good for them. The older you are, the worse idea it is, actually. So if you are going to do it, do it right away.

  • Lisa Walker May, 4 2015, 12:23 / Reply

    If you are putting this much thought into I say go for it. We’re lucky to have the option where I know so many people wish they could!

  • Tamara Bonassi May, 4 2015, 2:40 / Reply

    Lectrice assidue de magazine et pratiquant le voyeurisme (sain) sur Instagram, je suis devenue passionnée des femmes pour leurs beautés, ce qu’elles dégagent, tout en essayant de faire partie de ce clan qui me fascine du haut de mes 22 ans. Longtemps je me suis demandée quels étaient les critères pour etre une belle femme. Il n’y a pas de réponses, mais je me retrouve dans la Parisienne. Cette femme qui mise sur le charme et qui ignore les standards hollywoodiens de la beauté. Et une femme française à son sourire, imparfait, pas toujours aligné, peut-être terni par les cigarettes, le café et le vin, un peu rebelle quoi. Ou simplement humain. Mes dents par exemple, je les aime et je les déteste, un peu grande devant, elle me permettait de calmer mes angoisses en pinçant la peau juste sous mes lèvres quand j’étais plus jeune et j’en garde encore la trace indélébile. Cela n’appartient qu’à moi, elles me racontent une histoire. Et je me dis que cela fait mon charme et que l’assumer fait de moi une femme, un tout petit peu plus.
    Alors ma chère Garance, ne cède pas aux diktats d’une société qui t’invente tes complexes

  • Je connais le traitement invisalign et il me semble que c’est beaucoup plus court que ce dont on t’a parlé. le système est génial! Tu devrais prendre l’avis d’un orthodontiste. XX

  • Laura May, 5 2015, 1:44 / Reply

    Embrace it! It adds personality!

  • I don’t think it’s the most crucial thing in life, there’s a lot more to life than straight set of teeth but perfect teeth definitely gives a lot of confidence :)

  • sophie May, 6 2015, 2:08 / Reply

    Je m’identifie totalement à ton post car je suis dans la même situation et change d’avis tous les jours! J’ai un sourire dans l’ensemble régulier mais j’ai quelques dents qui se chevauchent sur le devant et je fais une fixette dessus depuis bientôt 1 an! J’habite à Londres et les pubs pour Invisalign et autres sont partout! Je suis allée voir un orthodondiste pour me faire poser des LINGUAL BRACES => bagues posées à l’arrière des dents! ce qui évite le complexe des bagues visibles (car même les invisalign se voient). Le devis était assez honéreux: £4000, pour les porter 1 an.
    En tout cas il s’agit en effet d’une grosse décision, sachant que pour garder ses dents parfaites après les bagues, il faut porter un “retainer” en plastique la nuit à vie!
    Bon courage!

  • I’m right there with you and I feel the exact same way. Everything you wrote in your post resonates with me. I grew up in the land of the perfect smile where even ‘regular’ people on reality TV have perfect teeth. We all want to feel like we’re enough – ‘flaws’ and all but it’s hard.

    I’m still thinking about getting braces and I’m over 40. Now I’m looking at Lingual braces that are placed on the inside of your teeth where people can’t see them easily. They’re more expensive and are more work to adjust but you’ll look normal while you have them. I’d love to smile and feel great about my teeth, so I’m trying to save money for the 4 teeth I need extracted, and then of course the 3 years it’ll take. I know a few women over 35 and into theiry 50’s who’ve had braces so I don’t think it’s ever too late to do something you really want.

    Only you can decide what’s best for you. I’d really like to be the kind of woman who has the confidence to just accept herself for who she is, but the culture that we live in doesn’t make that easy, even when the people close to us say they like our unique ‘quirks’ that gives us character. Good luck with your decision!

  • The link in website field is a photo of a TV journalist who started wearing braces when she was 40 and was wearing them for over two years. Hope this helps ;-)

  • Louise M May, 15 2015, 5:56 / Reply

    Embrace your difference ! You don’t need to look like everybody ! American teeth may be perfect but they are all the same. A smile is so unique, you sould be proud of your little difference ;)

  • I love this post, mostly because I am 28 and have had Invisalign for two months now. I do not have bad teeth, but they are not perfect, and it has been the one thing I have wanted to fix for forever, but by the time I could afford it, I felt too old and embarrassed to do something about it. Until, I pulled the trigger and decided to get Invisalign. Right now it’s a pain in my ass and quite obnoxious. I constantly have a slight lisp and sometimes get embarrassed when meeting new people, but quickly get over it, which seems to be humbling. But, I know the 12 months will be worth it and it really is not that bad. I say go for it! I highly doubt it will take four years, I would consult another dentist if thats the case. Either way, you are beautiful and totally rock!

  • Koschka July, 16 2015, 9:17 / Reply

    I truly recommend lingual braces – I’ve had them on for over 6 months months now and I’m super happy. My teeth got straight within basically 1-2 months and as the braces are not visible, I’m enjoying my perfect teeth NOW, without waiting to have the braces removed (I have to wear them for the next 18 months though…). It is pricey definitely worth it – check the net for some more details on its advantages vs regular braces :)

  • No make up, no problem haha

  • I Guess Makeup is the problem. So stay away from it. :D

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