Would you? Could you? Miley Cyrus has, so has Kylie Jenner. Katy Perry has worn the most expensive one ever made, Madonna rocked one – but would you, a mere mortal? Could you slip some lavish dental ornamentation on for a night out? Are you brave enough to ice out your grin? Or would you look like an absolute tool?
Tough Judgement Call
Believe it or not Grills or ‘Grillz’ as Nelly the hip hop legend from the 90s rechristened them while also rapping about ‘a smile on da rocks’, have been around for a long time. It was the Italians that started the trend and not the ancient Egyptians who normally claim every fashion trend (we’re looking at you Cleopatra with a red lip and a wing tipped eye liner). Back in 700 BC (or 900 BK Before Kardashians) these super wealthy Italian women had their front teeth replaced with gold as the ultimate status symbol. It showed the peasants that they’d people to cook for them such delicacies as soft, white bread. *fancy*
About a thousand years later, the wealthy Mayans in Central America would drill holes in their teeth and pop some jade in there. They were Kings of Bling. And the trend stuck, to this day flashy gold teeth are all the rage in Central America, with an estimated 65% of Guatamaleans wearing gold decoration.
Grills pop up all over history and all over the globe, the Vikings weren’t afraid to dazzle their teeth, or Ecuadorian Gentlemen. Grills even appear in Soviet Union traditions.
And then popular culture stepped in, as West Indian immigrants adorned with gold teeth due to poor dental hygiene (gold was used to fill cavities) flooded New York City and-hip hop street style gravitated towards this statement maker. By the 80s Slick Rick was singing La Di Da Di, with his grill firmly in place. The 90s saw Flava Flav only taking his off to floss. Nowadays we expect our rappers to come with a mouthful of bling, see Kanye West, and modern celebrities lick their lips with glee at the prospect of rocking diamonds on their teeth.
But surely, they’re not hygienic? (asks everyones mother)
Grills are not something you’d share around or let a friend try-on as you might a necklace. They’re custom made, unique to each set of pearly whites. The process of creating one starts with fashioning a mold that’s fitted to your mouth. The mold is then filled with gold and diamonds, or whatever custom design you’ve requested and paid a lot of money for. Fancy grill sets go from anywhere between $5,000 - $20,000. Or if you’re Katy Perry one million dollars.
The Poorer Cousin
If, unbelievably, $20,000 is outside of your grill budget and you’re feeling the desperate need to dental decorate, it is possible to get a cheaper, less ostentatious version. Think about getting a tooth gem. A little, shiny (fake) jewel stuck onto an incisor brings the bling without the price tag sting. Non-invasive, painless, removable and cheap!
So, we think if you want to grill, you should grill. Our ancient ancestors did it with style, and so can you.