They may not be the most popular accessory for teenagers, but one man's braces may have saved his life when he was shot in the face.

Eighteen-year-old Anthony Pittman was shot in the mouth Wednesday night during a gun battle in Pontiac.

Police say the bullet, fired from a .45 caliber weapon, was fragmented by Pittman's braces, which may have saved his life.

The Oakland Press reports Pittman was taken by friends to an area hospital, where he remains in critical condition.

An argument spurred the gunfire, but police say they do not know why someone would want to shoot Pittman. Bullet casings from at least three different weapons were found at the scene.

Police say they are searching for a possible suspect but are not releasing his identity.