The Worrying Rise Of Tooth Jewellery

The Worrying Rise Of Tooth Jewellery

Is this new trend taking dental aesthetics a step too far?

Trends come and go, as they have done throughout the ages. Some of these are frankly quite silly while others have a longer lasting impact and can change fashion and style for a decade or more. While most of these trends leave no long lasting negative effects, this is not always the case and in today’s Blue Sky Dental blog, we are going to take a look at a trend that is causing some concern in the dental world.

As we have mentioned in previous blogs, one of the first things that people notice about us when they meet us for the first time is our smile. It appears that some people have now taken the attempts to have a noticeable smile even further and are adorning their teeth with jewellery! While this will undoubtedly attract attention, there could be a long term price to pay in the health of your teeth.

What is tooth jewellery?

Having gems attached to the teeth or the wearing of ‘grills’ with jewels attached largely started in the ‘pop’ world and especially amongst the rap community. Largely, these were more at the famous end of the genre and used very expensive gems indeed. From the Beatles to the Sex Pistols, we know that pop stars and musicians are often where trends start and tooth jewellery is also now becoming more widely used by those who follow the music as well.

Essentially ‘grills’ are removable covers which are fitted over the teeth and are usually adorned with precious metals and often jewellery as well. In addition to this, some people are having jewels attached directly to their teeth.

Is it safe?

As dentists currently don’t offer either of these two options, there is always a risk to your teeth if you have this done elsewhere. While some practitioners will, no doubt, take good care to perform their job as well as they can, they are not trained dentists, unlike those at your local Chelmsford dental clinic, and can’t foresee problems that might already exist before attaching a gem to a tooth.

Thankfully, some studios that attach tooth gems do at least use a proper dental adhesive rather than a general one. Even with this though, a tiny space left by it not being applied correctly can provide a place where small pieces of food debris and bacteria can collect. Before you know it, you may have a gem adorned tooth that has decay building up behind it. Even if correctly applied, it makes the tooth generally harder to keep clean and a bacteria build up could soon lead to tooth decay. This is not the only risk either as the gems can cause other teeth to chip as they come into contact with them.

Is it legal?

Unfortunately this is a grey area at the moment. As it stands, no cases have been brought that have proved it to be an illegal activity. Strangely enough though, it is illegal to remove a gem once attached. This means that if you have one attached, you have no choice but to wait for it to fall off. Generally speaking this can be between a few months and a couple of years, depending on the person’s social habits. For instance, you could speed up this process by drinking lots of fizzy drinks to erode the enamel and cause the gem to fall off quicker though this would threaten the health of your tooth and most likely leave it very sensitive to hot and cold.

Then there is the cost. Although cheaper options are now available, a tooth gem can cost hundreds or even thousands of pounds, only for it to fall off a few months later.

DIY tooth jewellery – the risks

Given the cost of this trend, it is likely that some younger people may attempt to copy the style but not have the money to have it done by someone with experience, and, whilst we feel that even doing this is a bad idea, it is likely to be better than attempting it yourself. We fear that many young people’s teeth will be left badly damaged by applying cheaper jewels using general strong adhesive. This is almost certain to damage the tooth enamel and may also lead to decay where small gaps have been left.

We suspect that, in time, offering this service will become illegal, as teeth whitening did if not carried out by a qualified dentist. If this is the case, it remains to be seen whether dental practices will offer this or not. In the meantime, we urge our Chelmsford patients not to be tempted by tooth jewellery as you could be risking the long term health of your teeth, and suffer the consequences long after the trend has passed, as it inevitably will.

If you want to be noticed because of your smile, don’t stick gems to them, however expensive they are or how nice you think they look. There is nothing nicer than an attractive white smile and our range of cosmetic dental treatments can help you to achieve just that. Whether you need your teeth whitened, straightened or even replaced, there are now many excellent options available to help you do so. If you would like to find out more about these, why not arrange a consultation with one of our dentists by calling Blue Sky Dental today on 01245 211070.

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