Dr. Paul Perella, DMD

ALL UP IN YOUR GRILL

Some celebrities have been flashing more than clean, white teeth at their fans. Under the spotlight, the glint from their mouths comes from "grills" or "grillz". These decorative covers often made of gold, silver or jewel-encrusted precious metals that snap over one or more of their teeth.

If you have a dental grill or are considering getting one, make sure you talk to your dentist first. Find out exactly what materials the grill is made of and avoid creating a breeding ground for bacteria. Additionally, some grills are made from non-precious (base) metals that may cause irritation or metal-allergic reactions.

Wearers should be especially careful about brushing and flossing to prevent potential problems. Food and other debris may become trapped between the teeth and the grill allowing bacteria to collect and procure acids. The acids can cause tooth decay and harm gum tissue. Bacteria may also contribute to bad breath. There also is potential for grills to irritate surrounding oral tissues and to wear the enamel away on the opposing teeth.

To prevent problems, wearers should limit the amount of time spent wearing removable grills. If you already wear a grill, you should remove it before eating. It should be cleaned daily to remove plaque bacteria and food debris. Avoid using jewelry cleaners or any products that are dangerous to ingest.

At present, there are no studies that show that grills are harmful to the mouth, but there are no studies that show their long term wear is safe, either. It is important to remember that while fads fade, a beautiful smile never goes out of style. If you have other questions about grills, please feel free to drop us a line [email protected]

Peace.

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