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Gaten Matarazzo’s Teeth: Whats Happened to Them?


Gaten Matarazzo, 19, portrays the endearing Dustin Henderson in the popular television series Stranger Things. The fact that Dustin looks to be missing his front teeth may have caught the attention of viewers. Bullies make fun of Justin’s toothless grin on the first episode of the show, but he swiftly responds, “His teeth are still growing in.”

Gaten Matarazzo's Teeth: Whats Happened to Them?

It turns out that Gaten has cleidocranial dysplasia, a genetic condition that mostly affects the growing of his teeth and collarbones but also affects all bones. One in a million persons have CCD, a highly rare condition.

In contrast to the typical situation, where your baby teeth fall out and your adult teeth erupt, cleidocranial dysplasia prevents this from happening. The Stranger Things star has had many procedures to extract teeth and also wears an appliance to pull down his teeth manually. In the next years, the illness will necessitate even more operations.


Gaten Matarazzo's Teeth: Whats Happened to Them?

The actor serves as an ambassador for CCD Smiles, an organization that raises money and awareness for those with CCD, and is a great source of motivation for those who are afflicted with the condition. Most people are unaware that not everyone’s operation is covered by insurance. The debate over whether a surgery is cosmetic or medical is perpetual and unfair. CCD is unquestionably a medical problem, and to claim otherwise would be ludicrous given that everyone requires teeth.

Gaten Matarazzo's Teeth: Whats Happened to Them?

Gaten has made several media appearances to advance the cause.

Despite having such a crippling condition since infancy, he managed to obtain the largest acting role of his career, becoming one of the most famous faces on television. Gaten’s audition tape left the Duffer Brothers so favorable an impression that they included his condition in the plot.

Gaten Matarazzo's Teeth: Whats Happened to Them?

His cleidocranial dysplasia was the only factor keeping him from landing any significant roles prior to being cast in Stranger Things. He would consistently attend auditions three times per week and only ever receive rejection. It’s incredible that the young person continued to apply for new roles despite receiving numerous rejections.

Fortunately, season four of Stranger Things is now in production, so we’ll get another season of Dustin’s story.


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