dental-health

Faith Hill rocks adult braces; more adults fixing their smiles

Feb. 12, 2013 at 1:15 PM ET

Among Faith Hill’s shiny accessories on Grammy night: the braces on her teeth.

The 45-year-old music star has joined the growing ranks of adults with orthodonture. Hill told country music station KNIX that her brackets, which she’s had for several months, are necessary because she didn’t wear her retainer as a kid.

Cosmetic dentist Dr. Jennifer Jablow told TODAY that common teenage bad habit can wreak havoc on adult mouths. Teeth shift over time in response to hormonal and bone changes, and even because of nighttime teeth-grinding, she said.

It’s not a purely cosmetic matter. Women in their late 30s, 40s and 50s most commonly experience changes that produce overlapping lower teeth. “That’s actually going to affect your health because plaque and everything can get stuck in there and it’s very hard to clean,” said Jablow. The gunk can cause gum disease, so if it’s happening to you, it’s important to check in with your dentist, she said.

Hill has the traditional fixed-bracket type of braces. Most adults who are eligible for Invisalign, a series of removable clear plastic trays, prefer them to brackets, Jablow told TODAY. The pluses: they aren’t as noticeable as the brackets and can be taken out for eating and drinking, which means they won’t stain or catch pieces of food. Brackets may also produce breath and speech changes, she said.

Cost for both brackets and Invisalign is about $5,000. But not everyone is a candidate for Invisalign, and those folks must turn to the traditional brackets that many of us sported during the teenage years. 

“Faith Hill is gorgeous and she can completely get away with” wearing the brackets, said Jablow. “Most of us probably aren’t confident enough” to wear them.

No word on whether Hill is rocking headgear at night.

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