David Bowie / image courtesy of Arthur@NYCArthur.com

A comparison of the dental problems faced by the pop stars David Bowie and Shaun Ryder

Justin Bieber is not the first pop star to have sought treatment to improve the appearance of his teeth.

The news that he has been wearing ‘invisible’ braces to straighten his teeth means that he is following in the footsteps of many stars of the stage who have sought to dazzle their audiences by improving their mega-watt smiles.

Perhaps the likes of David Bowie, Freddie Mercury, Shaun Ryder, Liam Gallagher and Amy Winehouse would have performed with even more confidence had they had access to great modern dental products earlier in their career.

One such product is Invisalign. London, where many pop stars live, has dental surgeries such as the Ethicare practice which can help fit these discreet braces, so there is no excuse for people not to use them!

Below is a look at the struggles two of pop’s most famous singers have had with their teeth.

David Bowie

The British singer is the subject of an unusual YouTube video entitled ‘David Bowie’s teeth’ which charts just how his dental appearance has changed through the years.

Celebrity surgeon Alex Karidis appears in the video, commenting on the state of Bowie’s teeth in his Ziggy Stardust early 1970s incarnation.

Dr Karidis was alarmed by the look of Bowie’s “fang-like incisors” – teeth which were once famously photographed biting into fellow musician Mick Ronson’s guitar.

The surgeon said: “His two front teeth at this time also look quite prominent – ideally this should have been corrected around the age of 12 by braces at a time when his mouth and his head were still growing.”

By 1980 the Serious Moonlight star had serious ambitions to crack America and there is evidence that his teeth had been whitened although there is still misalignment.

The video footage shows that Bowie had recession of the gums, with signs that his chain-smoking habit was leading to further staining.

But there’s a happy ending to this story as by 1995, around the time of his marriage to supermodel Iman, Dr Alex points out that the crookedness between his canines and incisors had disappeared.

This, he believes, is “evidence of good cosmetic surgery” and, most probably, some well-placed crowns.

The PR tricked into talking about Bowie’s teeth

It seems that Dr Karidis isn’t the only person who has taken an active interest in David Bowie’s teeth over the years.

A 2005 article in the Guardian newspaper highlighted how Bowie’s former PR Chris Charlesworth, was approached by a production company which was making an ITV documentary entitled The Changing Face of Celebrity.

Charlesworth happily agreed to an interview after being told they wanted to know more about Bowie’s life and work.

The hour-long interview started off well enough but Charlesworth was soon surprised to be asked when the star had had a “teeth job”.

More questions about his former employer’s teeth were casually dropped in throughout the interview. When the programme aired Charlesworth discovered that the show was really entitled ‘Celebrity Surgery: Who’s Had What Done’ and the only clip of him which was used featured him talking about how smoking had stained Bowie’s teeth!

Shaun Ryder

Happy Mondays singer Shaun Ryder’s heyday came many years after David Bowie first stormed the charts. In the late 80s, Ryder’s vocals graced top 20 hits such as Step On, Hallelujah and Loose Fit.

But after some more hits with the band Black Grape, Ryder’s teeth were starting to have a bit of a loose fit – the result possibly of years of heroin abuse and “some poor dental work” in his early years”.

A solution was offered by a dentist who, in 2004, offered £40,000-worth of free dental treatment in return for Ryder doing promotional work for his surgery.

The singer told Q Magazine: “My old teeth looked like a row of derelict houses or a street that had been bombed in the war. These new teeth are like show-home teeth.”

Ryder’s new look was much admired when he appeared on I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here in which the 48-year-old could be heard telling Brit Ekland: “I had really good teeth until I got into my 30s.”

There is still time for young pop upstarts like Justin Bieber to take good care of their teeth and with new, improved medical treatments on the market, there is no excuse not to have a great dental appearance.

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