This spring’s hottest accessory isn’t a chic bag or a sporty sandal. In fact, it’s so small, you probably won’t notice it unless you get up close and personal with its owner. The accessory trend of the moment I’m talking about is the tooth gem.
These teeny tiny temporary accessories attach to your front teeth to make them a little, or a lot, extra. Essentially, they’re tiny jewels glued to front teeth and function as an accent nail for your grin. Tooth gems are only a few millimeters wide, but they can really enhance a megawatt smile.
Thanks to celebrities and models — including Ariana Grande, Drake, Kendall Jenner and Hailey Bieber, — the quirky ’90s trend is experiencing a resurgence. Naturally, beauty influencers and vloggers are following in their footsteps. And the rest of us are intrigued as well. But professional application can be pricey, costing $100 or more for just one of the shimmering gems.
Beauty boutiques like GBY Beauty in California offer tooth gem services starting at $75. According to the website, they use 100% Swarovski crystals and offer diamonds upon request for the temporary and painless application. Tooth Kandy also sells tooth gems. According to Tooth Kandy, the gems should stick up to one year and sometimes longer.
As a budget-friendly alternative, there are also inexpensive DIY kits available. These are comparable to nail gem kits, and they include adhesive and various adornments.
Still, while these gems may be small, they can also lead to big problems if they aren’t properly applied. And it’s hard to know every ingredient in the adhesive. As a result, they can be potentially harmful for use in the mouth and on teeth. There are plenty of cringe-worthy Youtube videos showing the range of DIY variations, which are definitely not expert-approved.
Even the professional application can be worrisome. Dentists have shared their concerns about the risks.
“It’s never safe or healthy to put foreign objects on your teeth,” says SmileDirectClub’s Chief Clinical Officer Dr. Jeffrey Sulitzer, DMD. “This can negatively affect the ability to chew or eat — and you could accidentally swallow it.”
Serious side effects like tooth decay and infection can also occur. Some people have also had tooth discoloration as a result of using a questionable adhesive.
“You risk wearing the enamel off of your teeth, and could impact overall health by being a magnet for food pieces or overall germs and bacteria,” says Sulitzer.
If you still want to pump up your smile, a safer, expert-backed alternative is teeth whitening.
“I would direct people to whitening to give them better aesthetic result, which will be much safer,” says Sulitzer.
It only takes one week to complete an at-home whitening treatment and the results last months to years.
Are you still tempted to try a tooth gem to brighten your smile?