Tom Cruise, Braces at Age 39

Now every orthodontist's favorite movie star, Tom Cruise, was fitted with braces in 2002 when he was 39 years old.  He had them fitted by the same orthodontist that provided orthodontic treatment for his children.  When asked why, he answered "I figure I'm asking my kids to do it, so. . .I gotta give it a go."


"I figure I'm asking my kids to do it,
so. . .I gotta give it a go

Tom Cruise

On why he decided to wear braces


Orthodontic patient:  Tom Cruise
Birthdate:  July 3, 1960
Age at date of orthodontic fitting:  39
Date of fitting:  February 2002
Type of braces:  Friction free clear ceramic braces on his uppers and standard metal on his lower teeth
Length of orthodontic treatment:  12 to 15 months
Career adjustments:  Braces were removed temporarily for filming of the movie, The Last Samurai.  

Why Tom Needed Braces

To improve his bite which was out of alignment.  “Cruise, who turns 40 in July, started wearing braces during the past week [week before February 23, 2002] in a bid to improve his bite, his spokeswoman, Pat Kingsley, said Friday.” (No author credited, “Cruise bracing for a new look,” Houston Chronicle, February 23, 2002, p. 2)

Upper teeth were coming down hard on his lower teeth.  He was concerned about them fracturing his lower teeth.  “Why does someone [like Tom Cruise] with a picture-perfect smile feel the need to improve it (particularly given that he's turning 40 soon)?  ‘My upper teeth were coming down hard on my lower teeth, and they were kind of fracturing my lower teeth,' explains Cruise. He speaks with a slight lisp, owing to the new hardware.

'I couldn't close my mouth.' Cruise long suspected he had a problem with his teeth but didn't pay attention to it until he took his kids to the orthodontist for braces. 'The dentist looked at my teeth and said, 'You've got a problem,' and I said, 'I know.' I figure I'm asking my kids to do it, so what the hell. I'll give it a go.'  Cruise has taken into account that the correction may alter his famous smile, but he's willing to accept the risk. After all, the successful actor has been all about taking risks in almost every aspect of his life.”  (Angela Dawson, Entertainment News Wire, “Tom Cruise braces himself for a sparkling future,” Chicago Sun-Times, July 5, 2002, p. 19)

To line up his front teeth with his nose and close his mouth properly.  “Cruise needs braces to close his mouth properly, something he's never been able to do. But more noticeably, braces will center Cruise's front teeth so they line up with his nose in the middle of his face. "His midline was so far off, I don't know how women found him attractive," says Woodbury [Minnesota] orthodontist Steven Henseler.” (Allison Kaplan, Pioneer Press, “Brace yourself - Poster boys like Tom Cruise are helping to make braces the hippest trend in self-improvement,” St. Paul Pioneer Press, July 25, 2002, p. E1)

To correct an asymmetry in the ‘mid-line’ between his upper and lower teeth.   Dr. Laurence Rifkin, a Beverly Hills specialist in aesthetic dentistry, said the actor is likely aiming to correct an asymmetry in the "mid-line" between his upper and lower teeth. Rifkin, who made clear he was commenting as an outside observer who is not involved in Cruise's treatment, said, "He's doing something for himself to improve what already is a good-looking face and give himself a more perfect smile."  (No author credited, “Cruise bracing for a new look,” Houston Chronicle, February 23, 2002, p. 2)

His two front teeth were off and left incisor protruded slightly.  “According to Manhattan orthodontist Frank Andolino, Tom's two front teeth are set a little off to the left (they should line up directly under his nose) and his left incisor (which is next to the front teeth) protrudes slightly. Although it will take 12 to 15 months to correct these oral irregularities, you won't see Tom with a mouthful of metal onscreen--he'll have the braces taken off for filming.” .”  (Lesley Goober, “Tom gets straightened out,” Cosmopolitan, June 1, 2002)

His bite was causing him to fracture his lower teeth.  “‘I was having trouble biting down. This orthodontist said I should fix it because I was fracturing the lower teeth,’ [Tom Cruise] explains.  ‘Now when it comes time for my kids to have braces I can say 'Don't whine about it'.’" (Tom Cruise quoted in Robin Taylor, “King of Hollywood - He's Just Turned 40 But Tom Cruise Is Still Tinseltown's Golden Boy,” Wales On Sunday, Cardiff, Wales, July 7, 2002)


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