People go to great lengths to express themselves. Personal expression drives people to all kinds of body modifications from piercings to hair dye, implants to tattoos. Dental fashion trends are one new way people are beginning to express their individuality. However, you may want to consider the side effects of a trend before you jump on board. Without further ado, here are some top dental fashion fads and what to consider about each one.
There has been a surge of interest in vampires in modern pop culture. With all the romantic fantasy novels and shows centered on the allure of a vampire, it’s not surprising that fans have decided to modify their own teeth in the characteristic style. Cosmetic dentists can help you temporarily or permanently sharpen your canines to a point with veneers or crowns. The trickiest part of this dental fashion is fitting these fangs in with other teeth without crowding, moving, or damaging the teeth opposite them.
Grills and Jewels
First made popular in the 80’s by Hip-Hop culture, grills or “grillz” have had amazing lasting popularity through the decades. Grills are when teeth are fitted withgold, platinum, or silver covers, or sometimes teeth are permanently replaced with gold, silver, or platinum crowns. These decorations are sometimes enhanced by patterns or jewels. When worn too often, grills can create a haven for bacteria and allow plaque and food to build up along the tooth and gumline. Additionally, grills can cause chipping of surrounding teeth as the teeth strike against the grill. This is especially true when the chewing surface is changed. If you are considering a grill, you should always consult your dentist, and never attempt to attach a grill yourself. Some people have attempted attaching grills with glue that is damaging and toxic. Additionally, it’s important to only wear grills made from appropriate metals. Some cheap knock-off grills are made of materials that damage teeth and can cause heavy metal poisoning.
We’ve written about lip tattoos in greater length in this blog article. However, it is also possible to get a tattoo on your tooth. Tooth tattoos can only be applied on a crown as traditional teeth cannot be carved and sealed in the same way. After your dentist takes an impression and prepares your tooth for a crown, they will send the work out to a dental lab that specializes in tooth tattoos. A specialist at this dental lab will carve or paint with ink the desired design on the surface of the tooth, and then seal it in to protect the design. Compared to lip tattoos, teeth tattoos are actually much less complicated and with fewer drawbacks. Tooth tattoos on crowns are really more structurally similar to a sticker than a tattoo. Ink does not come in contact with your skin or bone, making it much safer. Additionally, tooth tattoos can be polished off if you decide it’s not the look you want anymore. Additionally, you can now find temporary tooth tattoos that work very similarly to children’s temporary skin tattoos.
Japanese Snaggle Tooth / “Yaeba” Teeth
Every year, millions of Americans spend lots of money in pursuit of the perfect, white, straight smile. Meanwhile, in Japan, women spend money transforming their straight smiles into crooked, crowded, snaggle-toothed smiles. Many Japanese women believe this dental fashion can help them look more attractive to men. “Yaeba” or double teeth make a woman look imperfect, and therefore approachable they say. Cosmetic dentists help people attach temporary or permanent veneers to their teeth to give the appearance of a crooked smile. Again, this trend is best accomplished with the help of a dental professional. It’s important that changes to the structure of the teeth don’t cause collisions that can bruise, crack, or chip other teeth. Additionally, crowded teeth are more prone to build-up of bacteria which can lead to decay if not properly cleaned.
The London Gap
Another dental fashion that pushes against the sterotypical straight toothed grin is the “London Gap.” Popularized by British celebrities, the London Gap is a noticeable space between the top two central teeth. Fans of the trend say it gives people a characteristic and “cute” look. They also love how it flaunts the person’s self-confidence and refusal to conform to society’s impossible beauty standards. It is less common for people to seek to modify their teeth to have a gap, and more commonly this is a refusal to seek to get rid of a gap. However, some orthodontists have said their patients have asked how to create or widen a gap between their front teeth. If your mouth naturally has a gap, it’s less likely that this trend will cause issues for you, but if you seek to make a gap where there is none you will likely cause crowding of other teeth. Crowded teeth are more likely to have issues with plaque and tartar build-up, so be sure and brush carefully and floss often. Additionally, two teeth with a gap are more likely to get food lodged between them. This is less of a concern with two front and center teeth, but make sure you floss well wherever you have gaps.
If you are considering a cosmetic change to your teeth, make sure you discuss the implications and complications with your personal dentist. There are lots of ways to express yourself that don’t jeopardize your health. Also, it is possible to choose styles that are not permanent, in case you ever want to change your look again.