Following the resurgence of chokers, platforms, and flared jeans, another early aughts trend to make a comeback is the tooth gem. Dazzling teeth accessories, which were popular in the late 90s, have been spotted on a number of It girls recently. At last year’s Met Gala, Hailey Baldwin flashed a smile that revealed two eye-catching gems affixed neatly on her teeth, and a few months before that, pop star Katy Perry debuted her own version of tooth bling: a gold rendition of the signature Nike swoosh. Meanwhile, it’s hard to picture It Brit Adwoa Aboah without her trademark diamond-encrusted Chanel logo-infused smile.
But long before Kendall Jenner revealed two gleaming gold teeth during London fashion week, the bold beauty statement was sported by inhabitants of ancient Mesoamerica and the Berber tribes of North Africa. Bedouin men and women from the Middle East were known to sport gleaming gold caps on their teeth as a status symbol. A centuries-old skull found in Chiapas, Mexico, even had tooth gems worn in a manner not unlike the contemporary version seen on Halsey, Kim Kardashian West, and Cara Delevingne today. Teeth embellishments has also resurfaced as grills, which are popular among rappers – Dior Homme ambassador A$AP Rocky famously had diamonds permanently installed in the backs of his teeth.
“Tooth gems are an instant and easy way to brighten up your smile or detract attention away from flaws, such as a crooked tooth,” says Dr Sofia Aravopoulou of EuroMed Clinic in Dubai. “The application procedure is safe and quick too, but it’s important that you see a professionally trained dentist to implant the jewelry.”
When applying the dental bling, first determine the desired position you want it. Next, the dentist polishes the surface of the tooth to ensure that it’s completely dry, before bonding it using a semi-permanent dental adhesive, usually the same glue used for braces brackets. “If properly cared for, tooth gems can last up to six months,” explains Aravopoulou, however she doesn’t recommend it. “Your tooth enamel gets minerals from your saliva, so when something is bonded to the surface, the tooth enamel doesn’t get the minerals it needs and it can make your teeth more susceptible to decay.” Luckily, the gems are easily removed should you wish to give your teeth a break or switch up the position.
For those who want a bold way to amp up their smile, teeth jewelry can be bought in a number of online stores, including Twinkles, which specializes in 22kt designs in the shape of dollar signs, hearts, and Nike ticks. Dentists such as Aravopoulou can then affix the dental bling.
Euromed Clinic Dubai, Jumeirah Beach Road in Dubai, +971 4 394 5422.