How stylin' is your smile? A recent fad in tooth jewelry has trendy teeth sporting everything from tiny golden hearts and inlaid diamonds to personally designed tattoos. First made popular by the hip-hop generation, the jewelry fad is turning up in mouths all over the city - from rock stars to prominent figures in society. But before you dress up your pearly whites, take some advice from Dr. Edward Philips of the Studio for Aesthetic Dentistry in Toronto. When it comes to your teeth, fashion has to be functional.
"I prefer tattoos and inlaid diamonds because they are flush against the tooth and are not usually problematic," explains Dr. Philips. The golden gems, on the other hand, are glued to the teeth; they sometimes slide and can lead to serious complications. "The charms may interfere with bite or collect debris and create cavities or gum problems," warns the doctor. He cautions that previous trends in mouth decor have had detrimental effects on tooth care-the frequent rattling of metal against the teeth knocked tongue piercing from hip to chip; the damage from this tooth temptation could last longer than the look.
According to Dr. Philips, tooth jewelry is just the beginning of smile style. The actual shape of teeth can also be changed to create a different look.
"Smiles can have a certain fashion-conscious look" says Dr. Philips. "We had one patient who wanted to have s smile like Julia Robert's, and then about 2 years later she liked Madonna's smile which is very different and has a bit of a space between her teeth, so we changed her and gave her a Madonna smile." Advances in cosmetic dentistry are creating more viable options than ever for tooth appeal, but consult your doctor about the consequences of jewelling procedures to ensure they are appropriate for you. Don't let mouth into a fashion victim.