TOOTH GEMS OR JEWELRY FOR YOUR TEETH?
DON’T CALL IT A COMEBACK!
It wasn’t too long ago, I was a pre-teen and this tooth gems trend made its debut in my life. Musicians on television had it, the cool kids and of course, I was intrigued. Despite my parents’ disapproval, I purchased the cheapest rhinestone I could find and found myself in front of a mirror. Not only did I glue my new fake diamond to my tooth but also glued my fingers to each other.
WILL TOOTH GEMS DAMAGE YOUR TEETH?
Safety depends on a few variables. This is why organizations exist to help regulate the safety of certain materials. The issue here is the products used in these trends are usually not regulated. Therefore the safety and efficacy of this trend are difficult to determine. It depends on the type of glue used and its level of toxicity.
WHY ARE DENTISTS CONCERNED ABOUT TOOTH GEMS?
THERE ARE A COUPLE OF CONCERNS
The first is that an untrained person could inadvertently cover a cavity during the gem placement. The cavity can grow bigger and travel to the nerve of the tooth which can result in the need for a root canal. Excess glue might irritate the gums and lead to inflammation and bleeding.
Depending on the size of the rhinestone, ingestion or aspiration may occur. Ingestion may not be an issue, however, aspiration can prove to be quite serious with a hefty medical bill attached.
The attachment of a rhinestone can make hygiene more difficult. Food and plaque may be encouraged to build upon the tooth. This increases the risk for cavities but you know what? That’s the risk involved with the attachments for Invisalign and even more so with traditional braces. The difference is that one is professionally monitored and the other is not.
WHAT'S THE VERDICT?
Some of these products have questionable materials while some others have excellent reviews and use bonding materials similar to what we dentists use in our practice.
Tooth gems are a trend that may have the potential to cause some minimal harm when done at home. Even if the risk is low, if you choose to do this at home, do yourself a favor and have your annual check-up and biannual cleanings. Some dentists can professionally place these. They can ensure that there are no cavities and that they are placed properly.
Take care with what you select and make a decision about what you stick on your teeth. As an adult, you don’t have the opportunity to grow any new teeth!
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