Woman Surprises Son, 12, After Getting Braces Removed — See His Viral Reaction to Mom's New Smile (Exclusive)

Single mom of five Polina Marian tells PEOPLE her tween son Noah had his own braces removed two months earlier

<p>Polina Marian</p> Polina Marian and her son, Noah

Polina Marian

Polina Marian and her son, Noah
  • After getting her braces removed, Polina Marian surprised her 12-year-old son Noah with her new smile. His wholesome reaction stole the hearts of millions of viewers online

  • Several social media users complimented Noah's manners and authenticity, and many praised Marian for her skills as a good mom

  • The single mother of five spoke to PEOPLE about her son's viral fame and how she's built a strong emotional connection with all of her kids

Polina Marian had an especially sweet reason to sport her new smile after getting her braces removed this year.

Following 14 months with dental brackets on her teeth, the single mom of five debuted her fresh orthodontia to her family. She filmed each of her kids’ reaction to her metal-free mouth, but the sentiments from Marian’s 12-year-old son Noah struck social media users as particularly genuine.

The Hawaii-based mom posted footage of her middle child’s candid response after school. Noah opened the car door to ask Marian for permission to hang out at a friend’s house, and while he initially appeared rushed to return to his friends, the tween lingered earnestly when his mom revealed that she got her braces removed.

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“Let me see!” he gasped in the video, which garnered over 1.7 million likes on Instagram since Marian posted it in March. When he glimpsed his mom’s pearly whites, Noah broke out into a bright smile of his own and cheered, “Oh my God! It’s so awesome.”

He proceeded to shut the car door, but before leaving to finish off the school day, he popped his head back in to praise his mom again: “I love it. I have to get dismissed though,” Noah said.

Marian tells PEOPLE that her son had his own braces removed just two months before, which added to his overall enthusiasm and appreciation.

She also posted an extended version of her car-side conversation with Noah and once again earned over 1 million likes on the app. Viewers flocked to the comments on both videos to celebrate Noah’s wholesome disposition.

<p>Polina Marian</p> Polina Marian and her kids

Polina Marian

Polina Marian and her kids

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“Love how his whole face changes when he sees your new smile. What a sweet boy!” one user wrote.

The mother-son duo have even experienced a level of celebrity thanks to the video, receiving shout outs from people online and in person. They’ve met local supporters and posed for photos with people who recognize them out and about.

“A lot of people wanted to be his friend,” Marian says of Noah’s newfound fanbase. “When we do our live streams on our Instagram or TikTok, it's that same, ‘Where's Noah?’ ”

<p>Polina Marian</p> Polina Marian's five kids

Polina Marian

Polina Marian's five kids

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Several online comments applauded Marian for being a good mother, pointing to Noah’s manners and thoughtful communication. “You can hear the way he's been spoken to and treated his whole life,” one person noted.

Others requested that Marian teach her parenting skills to the world, “so there is an entire generation that turns into adults like him,” as one person commented. (Unsurprisingly, Marian does indeed offer a digital parenting guide on her website.)

As a mother, Marian says she’s focused on forming meaningful connections with each of her kids and honoring their sensitivities, especially since her divorce five years ago.

<p>Polina Marian</p> Polina Marian's daughter Elli and son Noah

Polina Marian

Polina Marian's daughter Elli and son Noah

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“The biggest challenge was understanding how to connect emotionally with my kids and create that safe enough environment where they feel really open to share and be themselves,” she explains of her relationships with Noah and her four other kids — sons Avi, 16, and Mikah, 10, and daughters Elli, 14, and Adelina, 8.

The content creator tells PEOPLE that Noah’s viral authenticity feels like a result of the nurturing environment she’s cultivated at home.

“He is always very considerate, very caring and thoughtful,” Marian says. “We have that kind of relationship.”

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