Sep 30

Will Braces Interfere with the Career of Your Child Actor?

Will Braces Interfere with the Career of Your Child Actor?

Will Braces Interfere with the Career of Your Child Actor? via Wikipedia

Braces for Your Child Actor

Sometimes a child actor, like anyone else, has crooked teeth and needs braces. As parents of a child actor, we are not happy to see crowded teeth since we think braces will interfere with the career of our child actor or model.

I know I was not happy to see my daughter’s very first permanent tooth come in crooked. The teeth that came in after that one were not straight either. It did not give her the kind of smile I wanted her to have, nor one that is good for most modeling and acting jobs.


We went to see an orthodontist here in the L.A. area named Dr. Sack. He is best known for crozats but does all kinds of orthodontic treatments. Crozats are a special kind of removable braces that many child actors get when they are young.

I previously discussed another removable dental appliance called a flipper that is common in children pursuing a career in show business (See “Are Dental Flippers Necessary When Child Actors Lose Teeth?“)

My daughter had crozats for a couple of years. The crozats did expand her jaw and gave a little more room for her teeth, but it did not result in straight teeth.

There were a few negatives for us associated with crozats. Since they are removable, sometimes my daughter did not wear them as much as she should have. It is best to take them out to eat, so sometimes she took them out and then forgot to put them back in. Sometimes she misplaced them, and we had to just about tear the house apart looking for them.

Once she took her crozats out to eat lunch at school, wrapped them in a napkin, and then accidentally threw them into the trash. Fortunately, she realized it shortly after it happened and told her teacher.

I got a call from school telling me that she and one of the ladies who worked in the lunchroom were looking through the trash (wearing latex gloves) for the crozats. That sounded pretty disgusting, but I hoped it would be a good lesson for my daughter, and I hoped that they would find them.

I was quite relieved to receive a second call to tell me the crozats had been found. I certainly did not want to have to pay to replace them!

After that, my daughter did become more careful, but her idea of being more careful was mainly to not wear them at school so she would not throw them in the trash! This made her progress with the crozats very slow.

So, my daughter (age 14) now has braces on her teeth (again).  She did not want to get them, and we put it off longer than we should have because we did not want them to interfere with her singing or acting.

The braces my daughter now has are the standard metal braces and wires. That is what she preferred and a good choice for her orthodontic correction.

But since we changed orthodontists to avoid such a long drive from where we now live, we are having to pay the whole amount again for braces. We are talking just under $5000 x 2 for her total orthodontic treatment. (Ouch!) Fortunately, our insurance paid part of this.

So, “Will Braces Interefere with the Career of Your Child Actor?” Continue reading for more information on this topic.

If your child is actively pursuing a career in the entertainment industry, having braces will probably interfere with the career of your child actor or model, at least to some degree.

You see actors with braces on their teeth all the time on television, so it does not mean there will be no opportunities at all for your child who has braces!

If your child gets the metal braces or even the clear braces (which are not totally invisible), it can limit the jobs your child can audition for or get. At least for film and television jobs, unless they actually want the character to have braces (and there are quite a few cases like that), you won’t be seen for the role. If your child typically goes out for geeky-type roles, the braces may be less of an issue.

It is a must to let everyone know that you have braces (unless it is invisilign or other removable options), and even to get new headshots showing you with the braces. Your talent agent and talent manager will need to know so they can adjust their submissions accordingly. And casting directors will most certainly not be happy if your braces are a surprise during an audition!

Different Types of Braces for Your Child Actor

Fortunately, times have changed, and you can now choose from a variety of different types of braces for your child actor and possibly minimize the affect of the braces an acting or modeling career.

The treatment options vary from one orthodontist to the next. For this reason, it is a good idea to visit multiple orthodontists to see what options they offer, what they recommend for your child actor, and what the costs will be before you make a decision.

It is a good idea to get an orthodontic evaluation for your child actor as young as the age of 7 or 8 to determine whether early orthodontic treatment is likely to help your child.

The price for braces here in the Los Angeles area seems to be pretty close to $5000. Some chain offices and even some private orthodontists are a little cheaper, and often offer dental programs or coupons that can help you save some money.  Just double check to make sure those offices are reputable, because you don’t want to pay less only to have the results not be satisfactory.

Braces may be cheaper where you live! Just about everything is more expensive here in L.A. than in other places, so check out the prices in your area.

If you have dental insurance, most plans will pay around $1000 up to maybe $2000 as a lifetime orthodontal benefit (per person).

Some of the main options for treatment are:

  1. Standard metal braces with wires – This is the traditional orthodontic treatment. The cost is similar to other treatments or perhaps slightly less than some. The braces come in silver and sometimes even in red, yellow, purple, green, and blue. The brackets are glued onto the front of the teeth and wires (also available in colors) attached to the brackets. Rubber bands are used, and these come in a variety of different colors. These  braces are  effective and can be used for all types of tooth alignment problems.
  2. Ceramic braces – These are the so-called “clear” braces that are less noticeable than metal braces but work the same way. Wires are still required, so you primarily see the wires with perhaps a slightly discolored look to the teeth. The cost and how they work is similar to metal braces. Rubber bands are used as with the metal braces. These are more fragile than metal braces.
  3. Lingual Braces or Invisible Braces – These are the braces that are hidden behind the teeth, so they can’t be seen at all from the front. These don’t affect looks at all, but do affect speech more than the other types of braces since all the hardware is on the back surfaces of the teeth so the tongue hits it when you speak. These are great for models.
  4. Invisilign – This is the orthodontic treatment that is good for adults and older teens and includes a series of removable clear aligners that fit directly over the teeth to align the teeth. All permanent teeth must be in for Invisilign to be an option. Not all problems can be corrected with Invisilign. The cost may be slightly higher than with other treatment options, and the aligners must be worn regularly to get good results.
  5. Crozats – These are removable braces for children starting as early as 6 or 7 years of age. The major purpose of crozats is to expand the jaw in a growing child to allow more room for the teeth to come in. This can fix crowding and bite problems, often avoiding the need to extract teeth (comon in the past). Crozats can sometimes prevent the need for additional orthodontic treatment later in life. Crozats are great because they are removable and so don’t interfere with a showbiz career.

There are additional removable appliances (not necessarily called crozats) that may be available at various orthodontic offices. Do some research to see what options orthodontists in your area have and what the cost is. Ask specifically about removable options.

Before Getting Braces for Your Child Actor: Things to Do

Prior to getting orthodontic treatment for your child actor, be sure to:

  1. Get recommendations for orthodontists from your dentist and from other people who have had braces for their children to make sure they are reputable.
  2. Visit at least two different orthodontists for free consultations (if they don’t provide a free consultation, don’t go to them!) to find out what treatment options they offer and what they recommend specifically for your child, including cost and time for treatment and positives and negatives for each possible treatment plan.
  3. Watch for hidden costs. Inquire about x-rays and other procedures that might not be included in the total cost for treatment so you can determine the true total cost. With dental insurance, x-rays often are a dental benefit rather than orthodontic benefit and may be covered in addition to the $1000 or $2000 orthodontic limit. Also, find out if there are additional charges if the braces need to stay on longer than the predicted time and what those additional charges will be (some charge for this, some don’t).
  4. Make sure that every appliance or piece of equipment (e.g., retainers, positioners) is included in the total cost.
  5. Find out what sort of payment plans they have, if this is an issue for you. Most will allow you to pay monthly for a two year or more period of time without any charges. There is often a discount if you pay the total cost up front or in two or three payments within the first few months of treatment, so if you are able to pay up front, inquire about this.
  6. Research online about braces and any information in the treatment plan and quote so you understand exactly what the treatment will entail and to make sure you are okay with everything they plan to do. Also ask questions of the orthodontist if there is anything you don’t fully understand.

Braces can certainly prevent your child from being able to audition for and book certain jobs. Only jobs where braces are desired or at least acceptable will be a possibility for your child during the time the braces are on his or her teeth.

If the thought of braces is upsetting to you or your child actor, just remember that braces are only temporary. Also, realize that the final outcome will make it well worth the inconvenience and possible disruption to your child’s showbiz career. The resulting beautiful teeth and smile will make you glad you did it.

To your success,

Debbie Sikkema



Enhanced by Zemanta


Skip to comment form

  1. braces in las vegas

    Early treatment effectively intercepts developing problems and can prevent more extensive treatment later.

  2. Sam @ Air Purifiers

    Do look out for the hidden fee’s they will really bite you in the back side.

  3. Debbie Sikkema

    Good point. I don’t think I really mentioned that in my blog post. This early treatment really can help minimize the problems that need to be corrected with the later treatment. It was, however, disappointing that the cost was still the same for braces even though the length of time to wear them and the amount of correction needed in my daughter’s case is much less and she should have them off in a year or so! Thanks for reading and commenting on my blog!
    Warm regards,

  4. Debbie Sikkema

    Hi Sam,
    Thanks for commenting! So true that the hidden fees will bite you — that is why you really have to ask the questions up front, because after those braces go on, they have you for the duration…
    Warm regards,

  5. Dextanie

    What if you live in Sandusky. Ohio and you don’t have the money to fly or drive all the way to where auditions are?

  6. Debbie Sikkema

    Hi Dextanie,
    I do understand what you are saying! It is not easy to become an actor when you are not near LA or NYC. There is work in other places besides LA or NYC, but you have to work harder to find it. There are talent agents in many areas of the US, so there may be some where you live. They look for employment opportunities nearby. There are more and more classes that you can participate in online and elsewhere that can also help you. Sure, if you make it big, you’ll need to be able to travel to NYC, LA, and possibly all over the world. But you can get local jobs that don’t require you to travel. Watch this video — this guy does not live in LA or NYC but he works a lot — he gives some advice that can help you and others get work locally. Best of luck, Debbie

  7. Jalina

    Another great informative article. I am so glad I found your site?
    We came from Boston to Orange County three months ago. When we were in Boston, my daughter had braces and two talent agencies refused to represent her because she was wearing braces. Thank God she has completed her phase 1.

  8. Debbie Sikkema

    Hi Jalina,
    Thanks for reading and commenting (again). I am glad you are enjoying my blog posts! I know exactly what you mean. Braces are such a pain. I’ll be so glad when my daughter gets hers off and she can start working on her career again. Her agency does not send her out really for anything, and I also have to say she has braces when I submit, and it is rare that anyone wants to let her audition with braces on. Did your daughter get an agent yet? How are her teeth? Please keep me posted on what is happening with you and your daughter.
    To your success,

  9. las vegas children dentist

    This is a great time to wear braces! You can show off your braces by choosing the color of the ties that hold the wire in brackets or you can choose braces that are invisible.

  10. edwin javier

    hi debby I have 13 years and my dream is to become an actor but I live in Colombia, I wonder if it’s the same opportunities here in the U.S. thanks

  11. Marlo@Tucson Pediatric Dentist

    @Edwin Javier > You may want to search dental clinics near you that offers same opportunities but I doubt about the equipment and amount of the process. Since you are a kid, you may want to ask your parents first before taking action, they know what’s best for you. Best of luck to your dream!

  12. feye@Dentist in El Paso TX

    It’s not good for an aspiring star to wear braces, one thing for people to turn them off since a smile is a big factor in becoming a star. Good thing that there are suitable type of braces for kids, the price might be a bit high, but I’m sure it’s a good investment.

  13. dental implants dentist

    In my opinion, I think it is a terrible experience of wearing braces for over 2 years, but there is no better orthodontics way

    I can accept it as a child. As an adult, I will suggest people do dental crowns.

  14. Larry@ dentist clinic

    It such a nice piece of information. Many times a small dental disorder becomes a barrier in the career path of your kids. But I think dental implant can be the right solution for this problem.

  15. May Martin

    Hi, I am 15 and am getting my headshots for acting next week. The only problem is that I have braces. I am extremely worried that Im going to pay all the money for headshots and not get any jobs because of the braces. I get them off next year. I really dont want to put my career on hold and wait for them to come off but I also dont want to waste money on headshots and not get booked at all. Any advice? Thanks!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

By submitting a comment here you grant this site a perpetual license to reproduce your words and name/web site in attribution. This applies to any content you include in your comment.