are trending dental accessories as more and more young people follow the music and fashion they see with current artists, athletes and celebrities. Teens and young adults emulating them go as far as putting on the dental accessories without the thought of the effect the grills could have with their dental health.

What are dental grills?

Dental grills are glittery and flashy attachable/detachable dental accessories that conceal or cover the teeth. Some dental grills are put on a single tooth while some cover the entire upper or lower row of teeth.

Dental grills
Image Source: Amazon.com “Most Wished For in Novelty Dental Grills”

Because they are glittery – made from precious metal such as gold or platinum and embellished with expensive stones such as diamonds and other jewels – they look cool and attractive to some people. These coverings go way back to the 1980s when Hip Hop reached its universal appeal. At that time, artists would be seen accessorizing their teeth with these snap-ons. Now, they are popular again as other celebrities follow suit to what is an accessorial trend.

What kind of problems can dental grills cause?

Dental grills have yet to be studied for their effect on teeth, gums and the mouth. But, some dental professionals are concerned that they may cause dental health issues. Here are some issues associated with the grills:

  • Consider the materials used in the making of the grills. Not all grills are made of gold, silver or other precious metals. Cheaper grills are made from alloy or other metals such as copper. If the dental grill material is unsafe it could leak or cause decay.
  • Dental grills can cause abrasion to adjacent teeth, gum recession, tooth discoloration and chipping. It is important to remember that dental grills should be removed before eating. The motion of chewing with the grills could harm the teeth, gums and the mouth causing lesions.
  • Improper oral hygiene when wearing grills could cause irritation to the gum tissues that may lead to gingivitis. Tooth decay can develop from plaque accumulation, cracking or chipping of the tooth where bacteria can proliferate. Proper oral hygiene is necessary including regular cleaning of the grills before and after each use.
  • Dental grills should be treated like dentures, bridges or crowns, meaning they should fit the teeth well. If not, they may cause movement or misalignment of the teeth. If your teeth change position, they may need to be corrected through braces or other aligning methods.

Now that you know the repercussions of improper use of dental grills, here is some advice for buying and using these dental accessories:

  • The MOST important is to not have someone cement a dental grill. While most can be made removable, some people have them cemented in and cause lots of damage to their natural teeth.
  • Take extra care when putting on and taking off your dental grills. This is necessary to avoid damaging the teeth and gums. Never use glue or adhesive to attach. If they are loose or don’t fit well, have them adjusted by an expert. Any alteration or adhesion may cause problems which will land you in the dentist chair anyway.
  • Remember to consider if you have an allergic reaction to metals. Choose the materials well. Cheaper or alloy metals are materials that should be given close consideration or avoided altogether. Grills come in close contact with the tissues inside the mouth and any reaction may result in problems such as inflammation. Again, dental grills should fit well to prevent gum irritation. In the first few days of using the dental accessories, try to put them on for only a few hours until you feel they are the right fit for you.
  • Take extra care of your teeth and gums by brushing and flossing more often. Dental grills cover your mouth from saliva which is our first defense against proliferation of bacteria on the surface of the teeth. Remember, it’s important to brush and floss often.

Dental grills are accessories that, when worn right, can add brilliance to your smile. But, they should be worn with care and made by experts. Don’t buy fly-by-night dental wears just because they are cheaper. It is critical to know the materials and to make sure they fit your teeth in order to prevent dental issues. Remember that those you see worn by your favorite celebrities on TV, the Internet or in magazines, were likely made by their dentist and/or technicians. Oral hygiene while wearing them is a must.

If you are considering a dental grill or have other questions not covered here, contact Southeast Family Dental to schedule a consultation.