Like many other Y2K trends such as low-rise jeans and sparkly, pastel eyeshadow, tooth gems are making a comeback. Affixing tiny little jewels to your teeth adds sparkle and edge to your smile – but can this embellishment harm your teeth?
Here’s what you need to know about tooth gems and whether they are bad for your teeth so that you can make an educated decision about whether or not this bling is for you or not.
The Significance Of Dental Bling
Many people are willing to go through some pain and spend a great deal of money in order to feel confident in their bodies and to express themselves. From dying your hair to getting tattoos to having body modifications done, there are countless ways to change your appearance so that it suits you. Tooth gems can be either temporary or permanent modifications, depending on whether or not they are embedded into your teeth.
Tooth gems aren’t a recent trend, though. The same way that people all over the world have been tattooing themselves for both fun and cultural reasons, tooth jewelry has been used in various cultures as signs of wealth, ascendence into adulthood, and more.
Mayans decorated their teeth with gold, jade, and turquoise. Pirates, Vikings, and people all over the world have used gold and precious jewels and metals to enhance their smiles. More recently, Black hip-hop artists popularized decorative grills.
Today, dental bling is regaining its popularity as people all over the world see it as a form of self-expression.
What Are The Different Types Of Tooth Gems?
You can opt to either have gems glued onto the surface of your teeth, in between your teeth, or embedded directly into your teeth. If you have the gems glued on, they are temporary, and typically last about 6 months. If you have them embedded into your teeth, they are permanent.
These gems can vary from cheaper acrylics to precious stones, like Swarovski crystals and diamonds. You may choose to have either a simple gem applied or opt for a more decorative design.
How Is Dental Jewelry Applied?
You can have gems applied to your teeth anywhere from a tattoo parlor to a cosmetic dentist’s office. Bear in mind that people do not need certifications in order to do this. As such, if you want to ensure the best results in a hygienic environment, you’ll want to go to a highly-rated cosmetic dentist with a good track record.
Depending on whether the gem is temporary or permanent, application varies. Temporary gems are glued to your teeth. Permanent gems require drilling a hole into your tooth. Tooth gems can also be applied to crowns and veneers, but not Invisalign or other invisible aligners.
Are Tooth Gems Bad For Your Teeth?
The American Dental Association advises against tooth gems, due to the many negative effects that they can cause. While these gems may seem pretty and fun, they can cause lasting damage to your oral health.
Some of the ways in which tooth gems are bad for your teeth include:
- Discoloration. If you ever want to have your gem removed, the spot where it was can be a different color than the rest of your tooth, which is not easily fixed – if it can be at all.
- Tooth damage. Using these gems for a prolonged period of time can scratch and chip the enamel of your teeth.
- Difficult to clean around. Plaque can build up on and around the gem, but due to their size, it can be challenging to clean around them. This puts you at a higher risk of tooth decay and gum disease.
- Lesions on the inside of your lip. The gem can cut the inside of your lip.
- Breaking teeth. When you bite down, you could break the opposing tooth.
- Trapped food particles. Gems can trap bits of food, which increases your risk of tooth decay.
These gems can also cause sensitivity, inflammation, and allergic reactions. If you have a permanent tooth gem removed, you’ll need to have the hole filled with a dental filling in order to prevent issues.
Most dentists refuse to apply or use tooth gems due to the many complications they can cause in your oral health.
Cosmetic Dental Services To Improve Your Smile
If you’ve been considering tooth gems because you’re insecure about your smile, VIP Smiles offers cosmetic dentistry services that won’t hurt your teeth. From teeth whitening to dental bonding to veneers and more, we’re here to help you feel confident in your smile. Contact us today to learn more about our services or to schedule an appointment!