Dr. Matt Messina, consumer advisor to the American Dental Association, has cautioned that the wearing of dental grills could bring a nice 'bling' to a smile but they could also be very damaging to the users.
It was explained that removable dental fixtures like the 'grills' or 'fronts' that fit over the teeth and snap into place, are very happening trends among he younger so called 'hip-hop' generations. These dental fixtures are often made of precious metals like gold, silver, and platinum sometimes even with diamond inlays, although cheaper metals are also used to make these cosmetic devices. These products it was explained range in price from $20 to thousands of dollars.
Dr Messina, a practising dentist in the Cleveland area, said there are greater risks involved with the grill what is envisaged by most people. He said, "Since it's removal, people generally think it's safe that's not really true." Explaining that these devices generally snaps over the teeth, many food and bacteria can get trapped underneath and can cause gum infections, irritations and cavities, Messina said, "and the longer it stays in the mouth, the worse the problems are."
Further stating that the grills should be cleaned daily as well, he said, "If someone brushed and flossed really well, put in a grill that fit well and was made of precious metals, kept it for an hour or two, snapped it back out and brushed and flossed again, there probably wouldn't be a lot of problems, but that's just not what people do."
He explained that it was the type of metal used to make the grill that becomes the key factor. Noting that the expensive grills made of gold or platinum were generally much less harmful to the body as they were biocompatible, he said that the cheap grills made of non-precious metals may be particularly troublesome, as they would contain a lot of nickel and other non-precious metals that can cause allergic reactions.
Indicating that reports have indicated that one in seven people have a metal allergy, Messina said, "What we are trying to do, is get people to understand the risks involved before investing a lot of money in a grill or causing damage." He advised that the people who wear the grill should be on the look out for any redness, swelling or pain in the gum tissue, and if experienced they should immediately stop wearing the grill and see a dentist. He also suggested that they should take the grill along so that it could be tested too, and the diagnosis could be done more accurately.
He concluded stating that it's very difficult to say as to just how many people are wearing dental grills. Messina said, "There certainly are enough places making these devices that there is some interest out there, but like many fads I know it is going to play itself out, which is a very good thing."