Maverick is back! Tom Cruise’s iconic ace from 1986’s Top Gun is returning in Top Gun: Maverick as a mentor to a new generation of elite fighter pilots. Today’s Maverick is older and wiser with a speckle of gray hair and a few more wrinkles. But one thing hasn’t changed: that flawless Tom Cruise smile and that because of braces.
But Cruise wasn’t born with that smile—on the contrary, his original looks were, to be generous, “less than perfect.” Cruise’s teeth were horribly misaligned, with one upper incisor standing prominently in the space where the two central incisors should have been. His teeth were also heavily stained and yellowed, resulting in a smile decidedly not ready for the Oscars.
Over the years, Cruise has undergone various kinds of dental work to improve his problem smile, resulting in one of Hollywood’s most recognizable and attractive smiles. One of those procedures, in particular, made a profound difference in this transformation: braces.
For those who think they’re too old to have their teeth straightened, Cruise began his orthodontic journey around age 40, first sporting tooth-colored braces at the premiere of his movie Minority Report in 2002. His experience isn’t unique: About one in five orthodontic patients is an adult. If you have misaligned teeth, you could upgrade your smile with a similar treatment no matter what your age is.
In many ways, orthodontics is the original “smile makeover”—straightening misaligned teeth can profoundly improve a person’s appearance and dental health. And as long as you have reasonably sound oral and general health, you can undergo orthodontic treatment even in your senior years.
Consider clear aligners if you’re not comfortable with how you’d look wearing braces. These are a series of custom-made mouth trays, worn in sequence over several months to move your teeth gradually. Each tray is removable, making it easier for you to eat and clean your teeth. And because they’re made of clear plastic, they’re much less noticeable than braces.
A full dental exam is your first step to a new smile through orthodontics. Then we can discuss your options and the next steps forward. It may involve several months, but the outcome could be truly life-changing.