Y2k, Tiktok

Y2K toothgems are back, but please proceed with caution

Diamond -- and cubic zirconia! -- dentistry is experiencing a social media renaissance.

8/4/2021 11:29:00 AM

Diamond -- and cubic zirconia! -- dentistry is experiencing a social media renaissance. But although bling is back, pls, we cannot emphsise this enough, do not use superglue.

Diamond -- and cubic zirconia! -- dentistry is experiencing a social media renaissance.

is applying tooth gems to more customers than ever, some of whom travel up to six hours to have them done. “What I’ve noticed is that clients are now more open to more elaborate designs rather than keeping it dainty and subdued,” Lana explains. “I do think TikTok trends have had an influence on that.”

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She has also noticed a lot of much younger clients begging their parents to bring them“But when I tell you I have applied gems on everyone, I mean it. 16-year-old girls before they get braces for the summer holidays, to old dudes who used to be in motorbike gangs getting a Harley Davidson badge. Glamourous nans who won’t leave the house without their pink lipstick, to world-famous drag queens and rappers. I’ve done them.”

Lana, who has been applying tooth gems from her studio in Chigwell since 2015, believes that tooth gems are another way to accessorise, another body modification to push the boundaries, to show off and, in curating their own designs and placements, to be unique. But simultaneously, it’s also a way to celebrate imperfections, and to transform what can sometimes be an area of insecurity something to be celebrated, not hidden “I think my favourite reason people get tooth gems is to fall in love with their smiles,” Lana says. “I can’t tell you how many people walk in and tell me they hate their teeth but leave absolutely beaming and can’t stop looking in the mirror.” headtopics.com

Part of the appeal, too, is that the transformation is, in comparison to other facial and dental modifications, relatively easy to achieve. Done properly that is — youneed a consultation, it’s not one-size-fits-all, everyone’s bites are different. The tooth should be cleaned and dried, followed by a protective layer to support enamel and a professional-grade adhesive (exactly like the one used to apply train track braces), before applying the gem stone. It is then cured using a UV lamp, similar to acrylic nail setting.

Although the allure of tooth gems is that there is no pain, no permanence (although when taken care of, some can last up to five years) and easy application, it means that they fall into a grey area between the cosmetics and tattoo and piercing industries. Many people consider their installation to be a cosmetic procedure because it doesn’t involve drilling holes into the tooth. That’s not to say that there are no dental risks. “Jewelled gems may wear the enamel of the tooth away, increasing the risk of tooth decay and infection,” says cosmetic dentist,

Dr Hanna Kinsella. “Also, dental jewels can affect your ability to clean teeth properly, meaning that it can be an ideal place for food and bacteria to hide, resulting in increased risk of tooth decay and cavities.” Which sounds admittedly quite grim.

Read more: i-D »

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