Bad Boys II beauty Gabrielle Union was constantly told she'd never have a husband when she was growing up - because she had "atrocious" teeth.

The 33-year-old actress, married to former American football ace CHRIS HOWARD, admits that while she never had a shortage of friends while growing up in Nebraska, she was constantly told that her twisted teeth would repel decent men.

She tells Maxim magazine, "I was always in the popular crowd, but I really had atrocious teeth. I was encouraged to 'do well in school, 'cause no one's going to marry you'!

"But it didn't affect my social life at all. I was a leader - just a leader with bad teeth. Once I got my braces off, though, you couldn't tell me anything!"