Dental jewellery gets a grilling

Is dental jewellery safe for teeth?

Justin Bieber, Miley Cyrus, Rihanna and most recently Madonna are all famous figures in the pop world who have sported dental ‘grills’ (or ‘grillz’). Also known as ‘fronts’, these gold ornaments – sometimes encrusted with precious stones – have been popular with rock stars since US hip-hop artists began wearing them in the 1980s. 

A good idea? Most dentists say “definitely not!” 

Youngsters have been told that as these grills are ‘removable’ – can be taken out – and not meant for permanent wear, they carry little risk. But for the sake of your oral health there are a number of very good reasons why not to go there! 

Illegal practice – many grills, especially cheap ones, are made by high street jewellery or tattoo artists. This is the illegal practice of dentistry and is not monitored or regulated. 

Food debris and bacteria will quickly accumulate around grills or tooth jewellery, even if you try to keep your teeth really clean. These may very likely lead to tooth decay and gum disease. Even if carefully made, grills are designed to “spring” onto teeth to hold them in place. This means that they can move your teeth around in your mouth, just like an orthodontic brace, and can therefore wreck your bite, not to mention your appearance. 

Real grills can cost up to £50,000; cheap ones may look like gold, but are actually high in nickel, and can cause allergic reactions and ulcers in your mouth. 

Eating with a grill in place runs the risk of breaking teeth when you bite And finally, they fall out! That means you risk swallowing, or even worse, inhaling them, with potentially fatal consequences. 

So if you still fancy donning a bit of bling, follow in the steps of Goldie Looking Chain, and do it where it won’t harm you or your health!

Published: September 10th, 2013

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'Grillz' may cause problems for your teeth and mouth