Heirs to the American southern hip hop culture, the so-called 'grills' are halfway between dental jewellery and the old gold dentures and bridges; however, unlike the latter, the only function of this peculiar item is aesthetic.
Rooted in 'bling-bling' - the ostentatious adoration for shiny pieces of jewellery of some North American urban tribes - grills have leapt to popularity in the hands of a thousand and one pop culture celebrities: Miley Cyrus, Rihanna, Beyoncé, Katy Perry, Madonna, Lana del Rey and even Justin Bieber have already worn grills on more than one occasion. The list is huge and includes musicians from both inside and outside the hip hop sphere, so the success is steadily spreading.
But the truth is that this fashion has some dangers, as warned by numerous organisations, from the American Dental Association -the reference organisation in the United States- to large multinationals concerned about our oral health, such as Oral B or Colgate.
The disadvantages for oral health of grills have to do both with possible allergic reactions to the metals used to make them and with the proliferation of bacteria in them: we must not forget the special care and thorough hygiene that must be observed with objects such as orthodontics, splints, etc. that spend time in our mouths.
From Vélez & Lozano Clinic we warn that although it is true that there is no scientific evidence of long-term damage caused by the use of this type of jewellery, it is clear that both during the making of these pieces - always custom-made for the user - and during their use, grills must be supervised by dental professionals, as otherwise their use can have more serious consequences.
Leaving the making of such items in the hands of jewellers, or simply buying them in jewellery shops, can have consequences such as tooth abrasion, chipping, and even problems such as gingivitis, periodontal disease or gum recession - the main causes of tooth loss in adults.
Although a visit to the dentist is a must for all grill users, the truth is that good oral hygiene can keep at bay many - not all - of the possible problems derived from their use: brushing your teeth at least twice a day, flossing, and not eating with grills on are some of the basic tips. However, whether you are thinking of using this type of accessory, or if you already use them, do not hesitate to consult your dentist. At Clínica Vélez & Lozano they will be happy to help you.