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Dental Grills: An Unhealthy Accessory?

Teeth are important to how people look, so it’s not surprising that many people — including some celebrities — dress up their smiles with grills.

Grills are decorative covers for the teeth. They are often made of gold, silver, or other metals. Some may even be covered with precious stones. Usually, grills — sometimes called “grillz” or “fronts” — are removable.

Dental grill on teeth

Although there’s not a lot of research on grills, some dentists are concerned that these accessories might trap food and bacteria around the teeth and gums. This could cause bad breath, periodontal (gum) disease, and tooth decay. In addition, grills could rub away the enamel that protects the teeth.

If you are thinking about getting a grill, it makes sense to talk with your dentist first. Grills don’t serve a purpose other than to decorate your mouth. If you choose to get one, you’ll want to find out which kind of metal will be used. Grills made from non-precious metals could cause allergies.

  • Remove the grill before eating.

  • Clean the grill each day, but avoid using jewelry cleaners, which could be dangerous.

  • Try to limit how long you wear the grill. It’s probably not a good idea to wear it all the time.

  • Gently brush twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste, paying special attention to the gum line, and floss at least once daily.

“Brushing Your Teeth.” Mouth Healthy, American Dental Association. http://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/b/brushing-your-teeth. Accessed 2013.

"Flossing." Mouth Healthy, American Dental Association. http://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/f/flossing. Accessed 2013.

“Grills.” Mouth Healthy, American Dental Association. http://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/g/grills. Accessed 2013.

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