Tooth gems – Are they safe for your teeth? 

tooth gems

What is a tooth jewelry?

Tooth gems or jewlery are a small rhinestone jewel attached to the tooth with an adhesive. These tiny crystals are bonded to the tooth to look more fashionable. The jewels sparkle, making the smile more attractive. Nowadays, diamond tooth gems are trending among men and women. 

It’s a body art that has become popular in the fashion industry. It is pretty popular among the young generation and is considered a cosmetic dental treatment. Moreover, people desire it to gain attention, make a fashion statement and dominate their social circle. 

Some people prefer to get gems on the tooth’s center, and some elect to get jewel-encrusted caps over the teeth. Others like a grill, a decorative cover that fits on the front tooth.

The crystal teeth jewel is 18K white gold or 22 or 24K yellow gold. Moreover, their flat back is surfaced with a coating, and their facet cut reflects light to shine like a diamond. 

Types of tooth jewelry 

Tooth jewelry is categorized into three types; tooth gems and twinkles and dental tattoos. 

Tooth gems 

They are crystal glass mounted on aluminum foil to create a sparkly look. The dental gems are available in various colors and are relatively cheap. They are commonly available in two sizes, 1.8mm, and 2.6mm. They last for a short duration, maybe six months. 

Tooth gem designs: They are available in different shapes, such as round crystals, letters, numbers, and gold facings. 

Tooth gems include SKYCE and SAPPHIRE crystals. Skyce crystals are clear, whereas sapphires are white and blue crystals. They are both high-quality jewels. 

Kryst is Swarovski crystals that are specially designed for teeth and can be placed and removed from the teeth with minimum damage to the enamel. 

Twinkles 

Twinkles are precious metals such as diamonds, gold, sapphires, and rubies. They are specially designed for teeth, and their fitting surface has a meshwork similar to braces that makes them stay longer on the teeth. They usually last for more than six months. 

Twinkles are available in different shapes such as star, heart, triangle drop, diamond, navette, and round. 

Dental or tooth tattoo

A tattoo is a pigmented design made by piercing the skin. A dental tattoo is a misnomer. Unlike skin tattoos, the tooth tattoo is neither pierced nor touched with a needle. Instead, it is a design costumed on the crown and then placed on the tooth. They can be applied to any tooth, and any design can be made on the crown. However, crown placement requires cutting the healthy tooth to make room for the crown. 

Later on, if you wish to remove the tattoo from the crown, it can be done by grinding the top layer.

How long do tooth gems last?

Tooth gems are temporary and last between 6 months to 2 years.

Are tooth gems safe? 

Yes, they are safe if placed by a dental professional. However, they are placed on the smooth surfaces of the front teeth that are self-cleansing and are linked to the least plaque accumulation and dental cavities. Tooth gem placement creates areas of plaque accumulation and can lead to dental decay and gum if placed too close to the gums. By placing tooth gems, you may risk your teeth to gum disease and tooth decay. 

How to remove tooth gems?

If you want to remove the tooth gems, your dentist will do that. They have special instruments (forceps) that will hold the gems from both sides and pull them will slight force. These forceps are used to remove orthodontic brackets at the end of orthodontic treatment and remove other tooth attachments without damaging the tooth enamel. 

After the gem removal, the tooth is polished to remove the remaining adhesive. 

Finally, the tooth is treated with fluoride, which aids in tooth remineralization to strengthen the tooth enamel. 

How to apply tooth gems at home?

There are several tooth gem kits available online. They provide you with a guideline on how to use it. However, it is not advisable to apply it at home following the package instruction. The adhesive used to bond the teeth is technique sensitive and needs to be used cautiously. Avoid getting the home kits. Moreover, some DIY kits recommend using nail glue or super glue as an adhesive. These glues contain toxic agents that can be dangerous if ingested.

Where to get tooth gems?

The best place to get tooth germs near you are the dental offices. It’s a cosmetic dental procedure, and dentists know how and where to place them on the teeth. Improper placement can lead to plaque accumulation, gum disease, tooth decay, and bad breath. Also, the adhesive used to place the tooth gems contains acid that can damage the enamel if used by an amateur. 

The dentist will also advise keeping the area clean to avoid plaque accumulation and its undesirable consequences. 

What is the procedure for getting tooth gems at the dental office?

Tooth gem placement at the dental office involves the following steps:

  • The tooth is cleaned with a polishing paste to remove any plaque residues and maximize the bonding of the gem to the tooth. The tooth is isolated and dried. 
  • 37% orthophosphoric acid is applied from the syringe at the bonding site and left for 20-30 seconds. The tooth is washed and dried with air. The dried tooth appears chalky white after its etched. A thin layer of bonding agent is applied to the tooth with an applicator and cured for 30 seconds. 
  • A small amount of composite is placed on the tooth with a plastic instrument. The jewel is held with a jewel holder and pressed in the center of the composite. The remaining composite will ooze out from the surroundings. 
  • The composite is then cured with light for 60 seconds on each side to allow complete curing. It is important not to touch the fitting surface of the jewel to prevent any contamination that could hinder the bonding of the jewel. Dried fields and appropriate composite handling are prerequisites for the longevity of the jewel bonding. Lastly, The tooth is treated with fluoride to encourage remineralization of the tooth surface after etchant application. 

Are tooth gems permanent?

No, they are not permanent and last for less than two years.

Are tooth gems bad for your teeth?

It’s a cosmetic procedure that doesn’t involve tooth drilling for the gem placement. However, it includes etching the healthy tooth enamel to enhance the efficacy of the adhesive. As tooth gems are temporary and come off. Repeated bonding of the gems can damage your enamel. Enamel cannot regenerate, and once it’s damaged, it can’t be replaced. Therefore, tooth gems progressively damage your healthy enamel. 

Moreover, hard brushing and eating sticky and hard foods can debond them, leaving the residual adhesive behind. If they debond, they may be ingested or inhaled. Inhalation may interfere with your breathing and require immediate medical attention.  

Do tooth gems ruin your teeth? 

Yes, tooth gems can ruin your teeth if placed at home or by an amateur. They need to be put away from the gums to avoid plaque accumulation around the gums. If set correctly, they don’t interfere with oral hygiene. However, if the excess composite (adhesive) around the gem isn’t removed, it creates areas for plaque retention and increases the chances of tooth decay. 

Who can’t get tooth gems?

The following people are not suitable for tooth gems:

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