Dental grills, also known as “grillz,” have become popular among some teens and adults due to their popularity among celebrities, especially rap musicians. Grills are decorative covers that snap over one or more teeth. They are usually made of gold, silver or other precious metals. But less expensive grills are often made from base metals that can cause irritation or an allergic reaction.
There are no long-term studies of dental grills, so there are no data about long-term safety or about problems resulting from long-term wear.
Grills can promote plaque buildup and tooth decay because food particles and bacteria may build up between the teeth and the grill. A grill may also cause abrasion of the teeth that border it. Excessive wearing of grills may discolor teeth, too, so grill fans may need to whiten teeth when they decide to stop wearing the grill.
Anyone who wears a dental grill should be especially attentive to dental hygiene, and follow a consistent routine of twice-daily tooth brushing and daily flossing. Also, be sure to remove the grill before eating and rinse it often to remove bacteria and food particles. Talk to your dentist before getting a dental grill and be sure to find out how best to reduce the risk of bacterial buildup and other complications.