I’m not sure how recent the pic was, but last week I saw a photo of Katy Parry with a dental grill plastered across her upper front teeth. Before that it was Madonna. Once a fashion statement amongst singers of a certain genre to express wealth, I actually thought these mouth grills had lost popularity. Now it seems to be the accessory of choice for a lot of celebrities. I’m not quite sure this time what they are trying to express nor what the attraction is, but the irony is that they may damage the very smiles they are trying to adorn and the treating dentist will earn some bling of his own!
All of this got me thinking about trends in general. What’s trending. Who’s trending. What trend is coming and what trend is going. As a dentist with over 30 years of experience and a member of the ten thousand hour rule – 3 times over – I feel that I can comment confidently on the trends that involve dentistry, and, in doing so, hopefully bring you a behind the scenes glimpse from my perspective
“I came in like a wrecking ball”
These words in Miley Cyrus’s song, “Wrecking Ball” seem appropriate when we discuss the popular trend of mouth jewelry, not only because she sports a mouthful of gold herself, but simply because, as dentists, we see first hand how oral jewellery can cause extensive damage to the teeth, destroy gum/bone tissue and break existing fillings and other dental work.
Dental grills have only been around for only a short time, but dentists are seeing the consequences of long term over use such as bad breath, the wearing away of enamel and gum tissue, and the accumulation of bacterial plaque/food. Oral piercings, no matter where you place them, can open you up to a whole array of dental issues and infections. We’ve seen a number of patients who have had chipped teeth, irreversible gum recession and fillings break. Sometimes, the frustrating thing about repairing teeth broken by mouth jewellery is when the same damages happen repeatedly with no hope of convincing the patient to remove the principle cause.
We also understand that the piercing and grill craze is popular and people are passionate about their expressions, but this is not a fashion statement we can, in all good conscious, recommend – simply because we are on the front lines in terms of trying to restore the destructive nature of this trend.
The Smile Business
All of this brings us around to the subject of cosmetic enhancements to teeth. Humans have been decorating their smiles for thousands of years. Gold and gemstones have been found in many skeletal remains. Dentists have been at the forefront of decorating mouths for decades. So, why would we be concerned people wanting a some tooth bling?
While we will not argue that how one decorates their smile – simple or ornate – is largely a matter of taste and preference, the concern arises when a product is used by the wearer that impacts their health. A dentist takes into consideration the preservation of the other surfaces and structures of the mouth when they suggest a dental modification or restoration for the teeth. Health care standards, sterility, safety and the overall well being and health of the patient is paramount during the decision making process, the treatment phase and post-care.
We hope that alarm bells will go off in people’s minds before they consider
purchasing an inexpensive do-it-yourself grill kit online or from local jewelers.
Some time back Top Fashion model Tara Banks advised a contestant on America’s Next Top model to see a dentist to widen her already gap-tooth which would then, presumably, enhance her modeling opportunities. This advise was alarming to dentists worldwide to say the least and it saddens me to think this woman’s dental and psychological health may have unnecessarily been put in jeopardy.
A smile is a personal thing, but not every smile is as fashion forward or as health conscious as others. As with most passing trends, the words moderation and restraint come to mind. At Your Smile Dental Care we look for practical strategies that consider the demands of looking great and the long-term health consequences often resulting from those demands.
We believe that real beauty comes from within, but being in the “Smile Business” we’ve created many beautiful new smiles over the years and we’ve seen a lot of trends come and go. We’d like to think of ourselves as fashion forward when it comes to embracing new technologies that will enhance our patient’s experiences, appearance and overall health.
While we probably won’t be suggesting the sparkle of a grill any time soon, we have a number of dazzlingly options available for our patients. We utilize all the latest advances in cosmetic dentistry to achieve a final look that harmonizes with your total dental health. If you would like more information on your smile options please call us to schedule a consultation today and you could be on your way to a beautiful new smile … because you deserve it!
Meanwhile, why don’t you check out our you tube video on Veneers or follow this link to our Dental channel.