When you think of Tom Cruise, you think of his great smile: big white teeth in perfect alignment, a grin that dazzles you again and again. It might surprise you to know that one of Hollywood’s biggest stars didn’t always have that million-dollar mug. Cruise is one of many celebrities who’ve gone to a cosmetic dentist to change the appearance of their teeth.
Cruise wisely got his cosmetic dentistry procedures done early in his career. You probably don’t even remember him without those signature choppers. Great-looking teeth are very important for actors, singers, politicians and even athletes.
Their faces are part of the product they are selling. Whether they’re running for mayor of Peoria or trying to land a starring role in a film, it’s important to have a memorable, trustworthy smile in their fields of work. Without great teeth, you simply can’t pull that off.
Once you’ve seen these celebrities’ “before” photos, you’ll understand why they chose to get their mouth overhauled. Here are 21 stars who’ve not only had cosmetic dentistry, but have also seen their careers benefit from the decision.
1. Tom Cruise (Actor)
The star of “Risky Business,” “Mission Impossible,” “Top Gun” and a slew of other hit movies started his career with discolored, out-of-alignment teeth. To become a true leading man capable of drawing audiences from Phoenix, AZ; to Baltimore, MD; Cruise rung up a number of cosmetic dentistry costs. This included whitening and straightening his teeth. Apparently, that wasn’t enough. The Scientology devotee has reportedly upgraded to a mouthful of veneers since then.
2. Cheryl Cole (Singer/Reality Star)
One of the judges on the British version of “The X Factor,” Cole is also one of her country’s most famous performers. But, there was nothing entertaining about her teeth before her cosmetic dentistry procedures. She got her start on another British reality show and during that competition, her teeth were notably longer and pointed. Since joining “X Factor,” she’s visited a cosmetic dentist who whittled her teeth and eliminated the gaps.
3. Zac Efron (Actor)
Think the star of “The Neighbors” has always been swoon-worthy? Well, before he shot to stardom on Disney Channel’s “High School Musical,” his smile would have inspired more cringes than swoons. Efron needed cosmetic dentistry to help him fix his uneven teeth and he’s also gotten them whitened since then. It seems to have been worth it. Efron’s now one of Hollywood’s foremost heartthrobs.
4. Hilary Duff (Actress and Singer)
When Hilary Duff was a Disney child star, she had less-than-perfect teeth, but she didn’t decide to replace them until she transitioned more to singing in 2009. She chipped her tooth on a microphone while in concert. Rather than just get the chipped tooth fixed, she decided to upgrade to a full set of veneers and guess what? Her smile’s never looked better.
5. Nicolas Cage (Actor)
Nicolas Cage has always been a unique actor and there’s no denying this is pretty out there: to get into character for the 1984 film “Birdy,” Cage actually had two teeth pulled. But once Cage moved on to leading man roles, his disheveled-looking teeth were ready for a makeover. He got a full set of veneers, which seem to have served him well. He even won an Oscar for “Leaving Las Vegas.”
6. Snooki (Reality Star)
When Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi shot to fame on an MTV reality show, her beehive-throwback hairdo became all the rage, but her teeth didn’t get the same love. Snooki decided to have her slightly crooked teeth straightened and she also got them brightened while she was getting her procedure. The diminutive star seems happy with the result. She certainly smiles more in pictures now than she did during her “Jersey Shore” days.
7. George Clooney (Actor)
One of the movies most handsome stars owes at least part of his appeal to his cosmetic dentist. George Clooney has a full set of veneers that he got after his “Facts of Life” days. But his need for new teeth wasn’t purely cosmetic. He is one of the many who grind their teeth when they become stressed, hence the need for replacement teeth.
8. Victoria Beckham (Singer and Fashion Icon)
The most famous member of the Spice Girls is known for her style and fashion sense, hence the nickname “Posh.” But Beckham’s old teeth were anything but posh, with uneven spacing and wide gaps. Before she shot to fame in the all-girl group in the late 1990’s, Beckham had her teeth straightened and bonded.
9. Ben Affleck (Actor)
Ben Affleck has been a tabloid mainstay for years, so he certainly knows the value of a good smile. When he was young, Affleck had buck teeth and he didn’t move into the dashing acting roles of his mid-30s until the buck had been stopped, so to speak. Affleck got several cosmetic dentistry procedures that gave his pearly whites new shine and helped him land parts like Batman in the upcoming “Batman vs. Superman” film.
10. Louis Walsh (Music Manager and Reality Star)
Maybe the stars of “The X Factor” should be asking for cosmetic dentistry options and benefits in their contracts, because Cheryl Cole isn’t the only one to redo her teeth. Louis Walsh, the famed Irish music manager who is also a judge on the British reality show, had extensive cosmetic dentistry done before going on television. His yellowed teeth were brightened and the crooked teeth were pulled into line.
11. 50 Cent (Rapper)
The cosmetic dentistry costs for 50 Cent to fix his gapped front teeth were completely worth it. The rapper decided to get the work done after another rapper called him out for the gap in a song. But Fiddy made a conscious decision not to change everything about his teeth. He told his dentist not to make his front teeth any smaller because he still wanted to “look like himself” in the mirror.
12. Miley Cyrus (Actress and Singer)
During the “Hannah Montana” days, Miley Cyrus had slightly crooked teeth that merely added to the teen singer’s charm. But she’s gotten more sophisticated and more shocking, with age, and she wanted to update her teeth to fit her new image. She had her teeth whitened and straightened after she left Disney Channel and they’ve become part of her signature tongue-out look.
13. Demi Moore (Actress)
“Ghost” actress Demi Moore certainly doesn’t look like a woman in her 50’s and a good part of that is due to her spectacular set of pearly whites. A decade ago, Moore’s teeth looked yellowed and aged. She considered a number of cosmetic dentistry options before deciding on veneers. Her teeth look totally natural and they’re a lot straighter than they were before.
14. Jim Carrey (Actor)
Did you know that Jim Carrey, the star of “Pet Detective,” “The Mask” and so many other movie hits, actually has the chipped tooth his character displayed in the classic movie “Dumb and Dumber?” Carrey, who takes regular spiritual retreats in Arizona, had the tooth bonded decades ago, but he removes the bonding occasionally to amuse fans. He’s pledged to leave it off for the upcoming “Dumber” sequel.
15. Catherine Zeta Jones (Actress)
Actress and Oscar winner Catherine Zeta Jones has it all: beauty, talent and a mouthful of perfect teeth, thanks to her cosmetic dentist. Jones has said she was teased for her crooked teeth as a child and she had braces as a teen. Over the years, she’s had procedures performed to both whiten and straighten her teeth. No one’s teasing her now, that’s for sure.
16. Gary Busey (Actor)
Gary Busey is one of the most outrageous and outspoken actors in Hollywood and his outsized porcelain veneers match that personality. Busey was in a motorcycle accident in 1988 that did substantial damage to his face and he had cosmetic dental surgery to help correct it. He opted for oversized teeth as part of his makeover and while not everyone can pull that off, it works for Busey.
17. Keith Urban (Singer)
Australian country singer Keith Urban had a gap in between his two front teeth early in his career, but by the time he and fellow Aussie Nicole Kidman got married in 2006, he had fixed that gap, and his teeth had gotten notably whiter and straighter. Since he hasn’t publicly discussed his cosmetic dentistry, it’s hard to say when it happened.
18. Mike Tyson (Boxer)
Boxers aren’t exactly known for their pretty teeth, but even by those standards, Mike Tyson’s smile was lacking. The boxer went through a phase when he wore gold caps on his front teeth, but now he’s had the gap closed ever so slightly and ditched the gold caps for what appear to be veneers. His teeth are smaller and closer together than they have ever been.
19. Celine Dion (Singer)
Songstress Celine Dion has the perfect voice of an angel, but her teeth weren’t perfect until she underwent cosmetic dentistry procedures in the 1990’s, after her career began to take off. Dion’s teeth are smaller now than they were in the 1980’s, and whiter, too.
20. Morgan Freeman (Actor)
Morgan Freeman is one of the best actors of his generation, but his teeth had become yellowed as he aged. The Oscar nominee had them whitened a few years ago and also got the gap in the middle taken out. He looks a decade younger than he did before seeing his cosmetic dentist, a great help in landing him different movie roles.
21. Cher Lloyd (Singer)
That’s right; we’re back to “The X Factor.” Cher Lloyd skyrocketed to fame as a contestant on the British series, but while her voice was pitch-perfect, her smile was not. She had her teeth brightened and filled in the small gap in front, which was not a huge surprise. Early in her career, the singer, who has performed at the Bloomingdale’s Glendale Gala to benefit VH1 Save The Music Foundation, told a magazine she “hated” her teeth and thought they made her look like a rabbit.