Are Teeth Grills Safe for Your Mouth?

Group of Young Adult Friends Taking Selfie at a Concert

Trends may come and go, but when it comes to your teeth, you want them to last for a lifetime. That is why, if you're considering teeth grills as a way to add extra bling to your smile, you should know the potential risks involved. While the American Dental Association (ADA) says there aren't any studies showing that grills are harmful, there aren't any proving that they are entirely safe, either. So here's some information that may help you decide whether or not decking out your teeth with "grillz" is right for you.

What Are Teeth Grills?

You may have heard them called fronts, dental grills or grillz, and you might have seen your favorite celebrity or musician wearing them or some other form of tooth jewelry. If you want to know more about this trendy new area of cosmetic dentistry, you're not alone. A study in the Indian Journal of Dental Advancements notes that, today, more people are interested in using cosmetic dental treatments to make unique fashion statements.

Usually, removable grills are made from gold or silver and are often encrusted with jewels, according to the ADA. They can be made to fit over one tooth or snap over multiple teeth. In some instances, people have had special crowns made for their teeth that resemble a grill.

A dentist can make and fit grill coverings, however, inexpensive do-it-yourself kits are available online or from jewelers that tout an affordable way to emulate the stars. Before pursuing any kind of cosmetic dental treatment, speak with your dentist, as they will have the expertise and experience needed to help you get the smile you're looking for.

Dental Risks

While you may like the look of teeth grills, you should understand the possible risks you could encounter as a result of wearing them.

  • One obvious problem is that food, debris and bacteria can become trapped between your teeth and the grill; this can eventually lead to tooth decay and gum disease, as well as bad breath, notes the ADA.

  • Trying to attach a grill to your teeth using any kind of glue may be dangerous, since these types of substances can damage your teeth and gums, according to the ADA.

  • Grills can be a source of abrasion and can wear away the enamel on any opposing teeth that come in contact with it, according to the Indian Journal of Dental Advancements study.

  • The Cleveland Clinic warns that mouth jewelry can cause teeth to chip or crack.

  • People may have unpleasant allergic reactions to the metals used to make the grill, explains the ADA.

  • Depending on the size and location of your grill, it can interfere with chewing and speaking clearly.

Caring for Your Teeth Grills

If you've decided to wear grills, always remove your grill before eating and when cleaning your teeth. Take extra care with your oral hygiene routine by implementing daily flossing and thorough tooth brushing to ensure that you remove all trapped food and plaque from your teeth. Don't forget to clean your grill every day to keep it free of bacteria and debris, and limit the amount of time you wear it to avoid further problems.

If you are still considering teeth grills, don't take chances — seek the advice of your dentist. Talk about your options and take your dentist's suggestions seriously. Ask what metals are best for you, since some might cause allergic reactions, and discuss the cost up front.

But remember, one fashion statement that will never go out of style is a smile made of beautiful, healthy teeth!

This article is intended to promote understanding of and knowledge about general oral health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your dentist or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment.

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