Why perfect teeth are out of fashion
Forget dazzlingly white gnashers: with a natural new set, Sir Andy Murray is bang on trend, says Luke Mintz
When Sir Andy Murray arrived on the starting line of Sunday’s London Marathon, it wasn’t his running prowess that sent the showbusiness world abuzz with rumour.
Asked to come along as the ceremonial Starter, many eyes were fixated on Murray’s bright new set of teeth, which looked markedly more straight than they were a few weeks ago.
The 31-year-old is said to have become self-conscious about his set of gap-toothed, spiky gnashers, which he inherited from his mother Judy, and appears to have forked out thousands to have them “fixed”.
Not that you would notice. Indeed, the beauty of Murray’s look lay in its subtlety: the dazzlingly white Hollywood grin perfected by Tom Cruise, Keira Knightley and George Clooney was nowhere to be seen.
Instead, Murray opted for what cosmetic dentists call a more “natural” and “realistic” service. His gap was removed and his jagged teeth straightened, but his curvy canines were kept intact, and his enamel left broadly its natural colour.
Indeed, if he wasn’t a two-time Wimbledon champion on his first public outing in some time, he might well have escaped without anybody noticing.
According to dentists, Murray’s natural approach is becoming increasingly popular.
“People don’t want ’perfectly perfect’ any more, because that looks done,” explains Dr Krystyna Wilczynski, a cosmetic dentist who describes herself as London’s top “facial sculptress”, and says her patients have started to ask for more subtle dental alterations in recent years.
“If you had a 50-year-old woman come in and she wanted textbook, perfectly perfect teeth, she’d have the teeth of a 20-year-old, and that would look weird. [Now] they don’t want it to be obvious.”
Desperate to avoid scrutiny from their mates in the pub, she says, young men are particularly keen to keep their cosmetic work secret, telling her flatly: “I don’t want it to look like I’ve had work done.”
As a result, image-conscious patients are waving goodbye to traditional veneer treatment, in which thin layers of porcelain are glued around the teeth, costing up to £1,000 per tooth, and embracing composite bonding, a less invasive treatment in which a resin is chemically bonded to the tooth and shaped by hand around its surface, costing just £200 (R3,796) per pop.
Thanks to social media, she says, patients no longer strive to look like celebrities, but instead obsess over photographs of their friends, or their younger selves.
“People used to come with photos of Jennifer Aniston or Angelina Jolie, and say, ‘I want her teeth’. Now people say, ‘I want my teeth, but when I was 20’.”
Celebrities aren’t totally absent from the picture, however, with several embracing “dental realism”
Madonna, who has always refused to fix her world-famous diastema (the technical term for a gap between your front two teeth), is credited with bringing the gap-toothed look into fashion, while Kate Moss, who once described her own teeth as “gangly”, has never tried to reshape her jagged canines.
Actor Ricky Gervais says he is proud of his “horrible real teeth”, naming David Bowie as his dentistry idol and once telling the singer in an interview: “One of the reasons I never worried about having crooked teeth was because they were just like yours”.
Hollywood actor Willem Dafoe, meanwhile, is so proud of his that he made a two-minute film about it in 2016 called Mind the Gap, in which he said: “I like my gaps, gaps are openness, possibility, room to savour.”
Some celebrities remain desperate to cling on to their sparkling white teeth, of course.
The German manager of Liverpool FC Jürgen Klopp is said to employ the services of Liverpool’s “celebrity dentist” Robbie Hughes; also on Hughes’s clientele list is Brazilian striker Roberto Firmino, whose astonishingly white gnashers makes him the victim of cruel online jokes.
But most clients no longer want gleaming perfection – and that’s no bad thing, says Chris Dean, a practising dentist who also directs the Dental Law Partnership.
“The less artificial product that you apply to a tooth, the better,” he explains.
“The most natural way of correcting irregularity is not to glue anything on, but to use some form of orthodontic treatment, because that entirely preserves your natural tooth tissue.”
So, well done, Murray, for following dentists’ orders. - © Telegraph Media Group Limited 2019