An array of perfectly coiffed celebrities parading any red carpet is more than enough to induce envy. In sweatpants, we consider our own hair, skin, teeth and proportions, as we devour every image (and cold sag paneer), comforting ourselves that these inhuman humans have an onslaught of people (trainers, dentists, dermatologists, nutritionists) guiding them to perfection. We sleep easier believing each put themselves through intense grooming regimes and orthodontics to look the way they do, requiring an unimaginable amount of cash, but that may not be the case — well, when it comes to teeth anyway.
New York's Dr. Victoria Veytsman, dentist to every star from Karlie Kloss to Madison Beer, specializes in "smile makeovers:" a series of procedures that aim to enhance a smile, therein eliminating aging evidence and "restoring harmony" to the face. The dentist is a contributor to RealSelf, a service that connects young people learning about or seeking elective surgery to a provider that suits them, and explains the biggest misconception is that celebrities require an aggressive treatments for results.
In reality that isn't true," Veytsman says. "We do non-invasive veneers and can get a nice result with doing as little as four to as many as 20. It all depends. The best is when it isn't clear if a celeb has had work done or not — then it just looks like a natural great smile."
That doesn't mean there aren't a plethora of patients who ask Veytsman to imitate the smile of their favorite celebrity, often when their teeth are already healthy and aesthetically-pleasing. One recently asked her to recreate the teeth of a famous adult actress, and the clientele is getting younger and younger. Orthodontics, after non-surgical fat reduction and fillers, is the third most-searched cosmetic treatment, and, to an outsider, the easiest way to revitalize one's appearance. Veytsman is receiving increasing requests for grills or general "bling" ("millennials aren't afraid to try new things, there's an eagerness about them that we love"), but the biggest "A-ha" moments when it comes to their appearance-aspirations come from social media.
"Social media has changed everything," she says. "People are exposed to glamorous images on the daily. We get sent photos of celebrity Instagram accounts from potential patients saying, 'I wanna look like that!' It can go both ways. Patients are a lot more informed now, which is great, but it also breeds insecurities. They need to understand that so many images are retouched and it's important to stay realistic. Filters happen on social media, not real life."
Despite the increasing pressure for a straight, white smile, Veytsman believes there's a worrying trend brewing among millennials when it comes to neglecting their teeth and gums. Beauty stems from wellness, she claims, so even if you DIY your teeth to stark whiteness, all that glistens is not always gold. Many younger patients come to Veytsman for "smile makeovers" with bleeding or puffy gums, and evidence of consistent grinding.
While "digital smile planning" and other technological advancements within the dental industry to formulate patients an idea of, or a brand new smile with minimal human effort, Veytsman says the very best celebrity teeth you see today is the result of tedious dental craftsmanship. This can certainly set you back (porcelain veneers go for an average of $7,000 and the likes of Invisalign, $5,000). It's not extortionate when you consider the former needs minimal maintenance and can last you the better part of two decades. Nonetheless, Veytsman says the best natural teeth come from a holistic full body approach to health: mental and physical wellness will reflect in your smile, so maybe keep that weekly therapy appointment... or move to LA.