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Nolan Gould

The bright young Modern Family star talks about his hit show, his triumph over cavities, and how modern dentistry saved his smile

Nolan Gould on Modern Family.
Copyright © 2010 ABC Studios/Richard Foreman

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Q + A With Nolan Gould

Modern Family star Nolan Gould, 13, already knows a lot about keeping his teeth healthy. He's had oral surgery, orthodontics, and preventive dental care including fluoride applications, among other treatments. Dear Doctor asked Nolan to describe some of his dental experiences, which he did with characteristic intelligence and humor!

Have you ever worn braces?
Right now I have what are called Crozats. They're like removable braces — they're these little metal wirings that go around the back of your teeth and they kind of inter-loop between your teeth. You can remove them, which is really good for acting, especially because you can't see them. I can wear them 24/7 and nobody will ever notice.

What type of problem is your orthodontist trying to correct with these appliances?
My teeth used to be pretty messed up. I had two extra teeth when I was born. They hadn't come out (erupted) yet. And all the other teeth that were already there were starting to point backwards because it was getting so crowded in my mouth. They had to remove those two teeth, which was very scary for me at that time. I was around 8 or 9. I'm wearing these Crozats just to make sure that as new teeth come up, they don't get turned backwards again.

“I started going to the dentist almost as a baby to get my teeth cleaned. And then at about the age of 7, that's when I started going to the orthodontist to get my teeth checked.”

Have you ever had cavities?
No — I've never had a cavity in my life. I've always been really good about brushing my teeth and flossing. My brother and I have both never had cavities and we're trying to see who can go the longest without having cavities. It's like a competition between us. Hopefully neither of us will ever have cavities!

When did you start going to the dentist?
I started going to the dentist almost as a baby to get my teeth cleaned. And then at about the age of 7, that's when I started going to the orthodontist to get my teeth checked.

Has your dentist ever given you fluoride treatments or other cavity-prevention treatments such as sealants?
I do get fluoride treatments every six months when I get my teeth cleaned. I get the Creamsicle flavoring!

Did you get visits from the Tooth Fairy?
Ever since I was little, the Tooth Fairy came by to visit every time I lost a tooth. And I remember one year I got so upset because I put my tooth in a bowl once it got pulled out and my dad put the bowl in the dishwasher. And I freaked out and I thought that I wasn't going to get any money because the Tooth Fairy wouldn't find my tooth. So late that night, when I was asleep, my mom had to search through the dishwasher and finally found my tooth. And then she gave me an extra 10 cents just because I was so sad 'cause I thought I'd lost my tooth.

Now recently I got one of my teeth pulled out. It was really hard to pull out because it had this really long root. It took so long to pull it out. I didn't want my mom to do it 'cause it hurt so bad. I'm like, every time you try to pull it and don't get it out, I'm going to charge you an extra dollar!

Modern Family star Nolan Gould.
Copyright © 2010 ABC Studios/Rick Rowell

Your mom was actually pulling it out herself?
Yes — I tried six times on my own and then my mom tried five times. Then we finally gave up after all these different techniques and she tied a piece of dental floss to my tooth, and then I lied down and she just pulled up and the tooth went flying out. I got an extra five dollars for that!

Do you ever wear a mouthguard when playing sports?
When I used to take karate, I used to have to wear a mouthguard just in case I got kicked or punched in the face.

Is going to the dentist easy for you now, or do you get nervous?
I don't get nervous. Most of the treatments that we're doing now are pretty easy — the fluoride treatments, regular cleanings, and tightening of my Crozats.

Does your Modern Family character, Luke, take good care of his teeth?
I don't think Luke maintains good oral hygiene. He's so distracted by everything going on, he forgets to brush his teeth. He only does it when his mom asks him to do it.

So that's another way in which you and your character are very different.
Yeah. Plus, I don't really get hyper with sugar and Luke does.



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