In addition to a strong trend for young adults to acquire multiple tattoos and piercings, another trend is emerging that involves the teeth. Many people are choosing to place decorative metal objects over the teeth; these items are known as dental grills or grillz. Dentists in general are a bit alarmed when people buy these products from non-dentists because the jewelry can harm the teeth and irritate mouth tissues.
Can you safely wear dental grills? How do you keep your teeth healthy while doing so?
About Dental Grills
The bling that people wear on their teeth usually is made of gold, platinum or silver, and it may contain jewels.
Dental grills typically are removable, although some individuals have turned them into permanent structures by adhering them to the teeth or having crowns created with decorative features.
Safety Strategies When Wearing a Grill
Following certain strategies can make sure you don't damage your teeth, gums or other mouth tissues while wearing dental grills.
Instead of wearing the grill continuously, as you might do with jewelry in piercings, only wear these decorative items on an occasional basis. At a bare minimum, remove the grill before you go to sleep.
Remove the jewelry before you eat. If you don't want to take it out because you're in a social situation, remove the grill afterward and clean it to remove food particles and sugary film. If left there for many hours, those materials can begin causing tooth decay. Decaying food particles also cause bad breath. Keep in mind that sticky substances such as caramel are particularly hard to clean off, so don't eat those types of foods while wearing mouth jewelry.
Avoid wearing grills made of metal that contains nickel. This metal commonly causes irritation on skin, including where it rubs against the interior of the mouth.
Metal that rubs on nearby teeth can wear down the enamel. It can also chip teeth that are above or below it. Before you start wearing mouth jewelry, consult a dentist. A dental lab can craft a customized grill for you that fits your teeth and doesn't harm adjacent teeth. The dentist takes an impression of your teeth for the lab, just as is done when people decide to get orthodontic braces or cosmetic dental work.
After acquiring the grill, visit the dentist again in six months to make sure you're doing everything right in caring for your mouth.