Dental Grills

Dental Grills: Glitz can tarnish smile

Dentists Say Dental “Grillz” Might Bring Glitz, But Could Tarnish Smile

Grills or “fronts” may bring a lot of bling to one’s mouth, but the American Dental Association says wearers should take notice that they also might be bringing an increased risk of tarnishing the health of their teeth and gums.

There is no doubt that teeth with bling project style to some, but grill wearers should be very careful about making a fashion statement with tooth adornments, cautions Matt Messina, D.D.S., American Dental Association consumer advisor.

Dr. Messina, who practices dentistry in the Cleveland area, says the removable grill fits over the teeth and snaps into place. They’re often made of gold, silver or jewel-encrusted precious metals and may range in cost from $20 to thousands of dollars.

“They bring with them potential problems such as irritation of gum tissue that can cause infection from food and other debris trapped under the grill,” he explains. “We’re also looking at a haven for bacteria to collect and produce tooth-decay causing acid, possible chipped teeth and even shifting of the teeth.”

Dr. Messina also says that there is the potential for grills to irritate surrounding oral tissues and to wear the enamel away on the opposing teeth.

To help prevent problems, wearers should be especially careful to brush and floss to help prevent potential problems, limit the amount of time spent wearing removable grills and remove them before eating. Clean the grills daily to remove plaque bacteria and food debris, and avoid using jewelry cleaners or any products that are dangerous to ingest.

Dr. Messina also cautions that some jewelers and other “grill” vendors might not know that, in some states, taking an impression of someone's mouth is practicing dentistry, which requires a license.

“Grills might be trendy for the moment, but “pearly whites” will never go out of style,” he adds.

Click here for more information from the American Dental Association.