Lately, I have seen many examples of how social media dictates style for young people. For instance, while speaking to my hairdresser, he said that he couldn’t get the young stylists to attend hair conventions anymore to find out about the latest products or trends in hairstyles. Instead, they would tend to investigate the looks shown on TIKTOC, Instagram, and YouTube videos.

However, Social Media doesn’t stop with just influencing hairstyle fashion. The latest suggestion aims at our pearly whites. Let’s investigate one of these trends.

Tooth Gems

Enhancement of teeth using gems isn’t new. The Mayas were possibly the first civilization that used rocks to adorn teeth. Usually, embedded disks of jadeite or pyrite were used to indicate wealth and status in the community.

Now, there is no embedding involved. Instead, the object is glued to the surface of the tooth. While it may sound simple enough, the adhesive used is an important consideration to prevent toxins from entering the body through the mouth.

Additionally, the gems need a long-lasting bonding technique, or they will provide the perfect place for the bacteria that causes plaque buildup and decay to grow. In addition, improperly applied or removed adhesives can cause structural damage to your smile.
Under no circumstances should super glue be used or any glue that contains lead. Even the kits actively sold on Amazon may contain toxic chemicals.

The bottom line is tooth gems are terrible for the enamel of your teeth so our office does not endorse this procedure at all. But, the process is this: The tooth is etched with a mild acid before applying adhesive to adhere the gem to the tooth. The glue from the application of the jewel could erode the enamel of your teeth and could ultimately increase your risk for tooth decay or infection. Also, food particles and bacteria can get stuck in the jewelry.

So, Food for thought. The next time you see these tooth gems in real life, consider that the wearer of the bling could be facing a filling on one of the “gem attached” teeth and decide for yourself whether the novelty is worth it.