Dental Grills and Oral Health

A recent trend in dental wear that has been popularized by celebrities, especially rap musicians, is a dental grill. Dental grills, also know as grillz, are decorative covers that snap over one or more teeth.  A grill can be made of inexpensive metals and run as little as $20, or be made of expensive materials such as gold, jewel encrusted metal or silver and cost thousands of dollars.

Although these cosmetic tooth coverings may make the wearer look cool, they can also cause damage to  teeth and gums.

According to the American Dental Association, the wearing of a dental grill can create various oral health problems.  Those wearing a grill need to make sure to thoroughly brush and floss their teeth because food particles become lodged between the grill and the teeth and gums, and plaque can also easily develop on the grill, thus causing gingivitis which leads to tooth decay. 

Other detriments of wearing a grill is abrasion to adjoining teeth, gum recession, tooth discoloration or chipped teeth.  Users may also have an allergic reaction to the metal composition of the grill.

The ADA suggests removing a dental grill before eating.  If the grill wearer is unable to brush his teeth after eating, the agency suggests rinsing the mouth with water to remove remaining food particles that can lead to decay.

Several school districts in several states – Alabama, Georgia and Texas – have banned dental grill use at schools because of both disciplinary and health related issues. 

Dental grills can be purchased from jewelers, grill vendors and dentists.  It is advisable to purchase a grill, however, from a dentist because a proper impression of your teeth will be taken, and your personalized grill will be made from this impression thus ensuring a perfect fit.

Professionals in the dental field suggest consulting with a dentist before wearing a dental grill and also urge wearers to be especially attentive to dental hygiene to prevent dental and oral health problems that may result from wearing a dental grill.