What is the ultimate in bling for teeth these days?
Teeth Grills. You’re probably thinking, “grills? Aren’t those on cars?” Not any more. Teeth grills are a very hot fashion accessory that owes their beginning to the hip-hop genre.
Accessorizing a Smile:
Teeth grills fit on over a person’s natural teeth (be it one tooth or a whole mouthful). They’re made with surgical class metals to which all manner of decoration gets applied including lettering, gemstones, and precious metal.
While they’re certainly not cheap, especially designer names, the foundational metal makes for an accessory that should have some solid longevity.
One of the most popular types of grill is one that puts a gemstone on top of the metal foundation. This makes it appear as if the stone is floating on the tooth (you can’t see any metal).
History of Grills:
Teeth grill jewelry appeared in the early 1980s among hip hop artists. Specifically Eddie Plein seems to have started the movement by making gold caps for Flava Flav. Other rappers followed suit and soon Mr. Plein was a key figure in teeth grill history.
Over the next 20 years, grills would slowly grow in usage, and became far more popular when rap came on the scene. In 2005 the song Grills (by Nelly) brought even more attention to this accessory.
To make a grill an impression must be made of a person’s natural teeth by a certified dentist. This mold becomes the foundation from which the jewelry is then constructed. Jewelers doing this have gotten in trouble legally for practicing dentistry without a license. The regulation of the mold process helps insure that the final product is safe and doesn’t damage teeth, gums or bone density.
The most popular metal for grills are platinum, gold and silver. The jewelry is intended for temporary wear, but some individuals have had them permanently attached. Grills can be worn during meals, but they shouldn’t be worn to bed. Generally they’re considered a sign of success, particularly in the music industry.
Who’s Buying Grill Teeth?
Grills are popular with men between the ages of 18 and 35, predominantly those who enjoy hip-hop and rap music as an expression of fandom. Beyond this various celebrities in the hip-hop scene wear them too as do some Hollywood figures like Johnny Depp.
Teeth Grillz Drawbacks
There have been no extensive studies on teeth grills to determine if they’re safe for periodic or long-term use. Generally if made from high quality metal and worn only periodically the American Dental Association feels they’re relatively safe provided the individual uses sound dental hygiene practices. Grills made from less refined metals could cause infections or allergic reactions, especially if worn for long periods of time.
Some schools, feeling that grills could have negative oral health consequences (not to mention they’re distracting), have banned wearing grills throughout various districts including some in Georgia and Texas.
Depending on where you shop and the materials in teeth grills, you could spend as little as $50 or as much as $30,000. Choice materials are white gold, gold, and silver, both real and fake. Remember to add grills jewelry.
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