Nobody loves rhinestones as much as the country legend and Nashville native, Dolly Parton.
With that being said, today, we’re going to talk about a dental topic that would make Dolly Parton bright eyed and bushy tailed – bedazzled teeth. By “bedazzled teeth,” we mean teeth with gems embedded in them for cosmetic reasons.
There’s a new fad in cosmetics called “Twinkles,” where people are having jewels bonded to their teeth. While this might be a newer instance of bedazzled teeth, bejeweled teeth have actually been around a long time.
Mayans and Iced Out Teeth
There is a lot of evidence of early dentistry, dating back 9,000 years. All of these instances were mostly makeshift drilling and cavity fillings.
The first example of cosmetic dentistry was seen in ancient Mayan civilizations. Like Dolly Parton, Mayans were drawn to shiny things and cosmetics.
Ancient remains show how Mayans carved small grooves and holes into teeth and embedded them with gems and pretty stones. They would chip the teeth just enough to not cause significant damage to the pulp, showing that Mayans actually had a more advanced dental knowledge.
Usually, they would use ornamental gems, like Jade, and attach it with a natural adhesive, like tree sap combined with crushed bones.
How Twinkles Work
Twinkles are essentially a contemporary version of Mayan cosmetic dentistry. It’s a company that specializes in dental jewels.
You start by picking out your dental jewelry, then you find a special dental salon to adhere it to your teeth. Unlike the Mayans, Twinkles go on your teeth without needing to remove any of the enamel.
The jewelry is also usually made out of clean metal, like 22-24 carat Gold and 18 carat White Gold, so it won’t cause as much plaque buildup around the jewelry. They’re also designed small and flat, so you won’t feel like your teeth are weighed down.
Twinkles are glued to the teeth with the same adhesive used to glue on brackets for traditional braces. They can last for 6 months or up to 3 years. Like traditional braces, they need to be polished off by a dentist.
The makers of “Twinkles” claim these tooth gems are harmless. However, before deciding to get gems cosmetically bonded to your teeth, there are some things you should keep in mind.
The Dangers of Dental Jewelry
When it comes to choosing oral jewelry, teeth gems are actually the healthier alternative to other accessories, like lip and tongue piercings.
The safety of tooth gems depends on how they’re applied to your teeth. When it comes to choosing a tooth gem, we recommend keeping the gem small, using dental glue, and taking extra care of your dental hygiene after they’re applied.
Bigger gems can irritate your gums, leading to gum issues. Before getting teeth gems, you should make sure that your hygiene is in good standing. Foreign objects in your mouth tend to be a nest for bacteria and food. It’s important to make sure the area is clean and free of food after eating, in order to avoid tartar buildup and cavities.
You should also keep in mind that these jewels can cause discoloration on your teeth, if it’s worn too long. Typically, the discoloration occurs where the gem is applied. There can also be staining around the gem, leaving a lighter colored spot when the gem is removed.
Some dental gems have at-home kits, where you’re supposed to glue them on yourself. It’s a better idea to have them professionally applied.
This way, your dentist can make sure the tooth is in good enough shape for a dental gem. If you already have significant enamel damage, the gem will only make it worse.