If you’ve been watching the latest series, you may have noticed that Dustin from Stranger Thing’s teeth have changed once again. This time Gaten Matarazzo has braces!
What’s Up With Dustin From Stranger Things Teeth?
Dustin Henderson in Stranger Things is played by the talented Gaten Matarazzo, who was just 13 when he filmed the first series! In real life (and in the show) Gaten has a condition called cleidocranial dysplasia which affects bone and tooth growth. It has caused Gaten’s adult teeth not to come down as normal.
As a result, he didn’t have teeth in the first couple of seasons. In Season 2 he appeared with dentures, which are fake teeth that covered the lack of teeth in his top row. As time has gone on he’s had surgeries and worn a dental appliance that helped to bring the adult teeth down.
Now in Season 4 at the age of 19, he has a full set of traditional braces. This will straighten both rows, and help bring down any remaining adult teeth in his top set. Luckily for him, his favorite food mac and cheese is perfect for braces!
What Is Cleidocranial Dysplasia?
Cleidocranial dysplasia affects a few things, notably the development of bones and teeth. Gaten was born without collarbones, which is highlighted in episode 1 of the first series where bullies make fun of his teeth, then make him show off how close he can make his shoulders go.
Some of the symptoms of cleidocranial dysplasia are: –
- Born with partially or fully missing collarbones
- Delayed closure of skull as a baby, soft spot in skull
- Wider, flat forehead and low nasal bridge
- Baby teeth do not come out on their own
- Extra teeth and crowded teeth
- Impacted and crowded adult teeth as well as malocclusion
- Shorter height and other issues
- CCD does not affect intelligence cognitive function
It appears from birth and can be random or hereditary. The condition occurs in roughly one in a million people. Many of the symptoms can be managed and treated through surgery, as well as with dental and orthodontic work.
You can learn more about CCD at CCD Smiles, an organization that Gaten Matarazzo works with and fundraises for. They fight for wider recognition and coverage by healthcare policies. Many insurance companies will argue that the dental work is cosmetic and won’t cover treatment when it’s clearly a medical intervention.
Gaten Matarazzo Teeth Surgeries
Gaten has had to have a few surgeries in his life, as well as many visits to dentists and orthodontists. The latest major surgery he had was to remove some of the extra baby teeth (supernumerary teeth) he had. This exposed his late-developing adult teeth, which have now been slowly pulled down with the help of an appliance, and now corrected with braces.
Gaten posted on his Instagram of the surgery: “I’ve had several surgeries to extract these teeth from within my gums and help expose the teeth that should have already grown in considering my age. In this surgery, the team of amazing medical professionals extracted 14 supernumerary teeth and exposed six of my adult teeth. I was under for four hours“
He’s been seeing doctors since he was eight years old and this isn’t his first surgery, he’s had multiple with the first at just 14 years old. He’s regularly visited the Children’s Hospital in Philadelphia, near his home state of New Jersey.
Dustin From Strangers Things Braces Journey
The journey Dustin has taken has involved dentures, surgeries getting the extra baby teeth removed, wearing an appliance in his mouth to pull down the adult teeth, and now braces. He got braces on the bottom row first to start straightening them, ready for the top row to come in.
Gaten got his full set of top braces after Season 3 and they’ll eventually pull his teeth into alignment. So far, they look great! He’s one of many celebrities who’ve had braces. Even Beyoncé had braces when she was younger, and her smile is perfect.
He may well need a few years in the braces, and possibly further surgery or dental work to get a healthy and straight set of teeth. Gaten is a great poster boy for being confident through dental treatment and keeping a positive attitude up in the face of adversity.