Although we get braces and Invisalign to correct our crooked teeth, some find a reason to smile with no teeth. With the release of Netflix’s original show Stranger Things we’ve learned that there’s no reason to restrict your smile.
Actor Gaten Matarazzo portrays Dustin Henderson, our favorite 4th grader and sweet treats enthusiast, who fights alongside his best buds to save their friend Mike from monsters unknown. While Dustin wins us over throughout the season with his fierce loyalty and extensive Dungeons & Dragons knowledge, his toothless grin is what really melts hearts. The teen’s natural charisma is off the charts. His toothlessness only fuels his adorable goofiness.
— Gaten Matarazzo (@GatenM123) December 17, 2015
Matarazzo’s real life condition is called cleidocranial dysplasia. This rare condition is hereditary and in some cases causes dental abnormalities like late-stage loss of baby teeth and slow emergence of secondary teeth. After Matarazzo was cast, the creators (the Duffer Brothers, Matt and Ross) were quick to write Dustin’s incisor teeth out of the show. In an interview with The Daily Beast, Matarazzo shared how fans with cleidocranial dysplasia have found inspiration in Dustin. “They say that because this was in the show this is the first time they’ve heard of it outside the doctor’s office, it made them feel really good and it inspired them.”
— Stranger Things (@Stranger_Things) August 10, 2016
Those with cleidocranial dysplasia aren’t the only ones finding inspiration in Matarazzo’s confidence. The fan favorite makes audiences members of all ages and teeth-counts smile uncontrollably.
Matarazzo occasionally rocks dentures at red carpet events and in his day-to-day but his overall confidence, no matter the dental situation, is what people from all walks of life truly admire.
— Gaten Matarazzo (@GatenM123) August 16, 2016