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What to Know About Tooth Gems

June 17, 2022


Tooth gems are little gems or crystals that people have adhered to their teeth. Having a little bling may add some sparkle to your smile, but these gems can also cause unnecessary damage to your teeth & gums.  

Tooth gems are a trend now, but trends come and go so by the time you get them they could already be out of fashion. Many celebrities have been spotted with these teeth gems bedazzling their smile, and their audience is typically a lot younger. These trends that celebrities create appeal to younger audiences who may not know the lasting implications such a little tooth gem can have on their teeth.   

How Tooth Gems Are Applied   

A dentist will prepare the surface of your tooth before gluing the gem on. They will clean the surface of the tooth and then brush on an acid primer. The acid primer is used to etch the tooth for better retention with the adhesive. This can damage the enamel of your tooth and may lead to tooth decay (cavities) in the future if you’re not careful.   

Next, a dental adhesive is applied to the tooth and to the underside of the gem that will be affixed to the tooth. These adhesives can also cause damage to the tooth enamel that may be irreversible. The adhesive can also discolor the tooth and leave a dark spot long after the gem is removed.   

How Tooth Gems Are Removed  

Tooth gems can last anywhere from six months to a year depending on the technique used to adhere them. Tooth gems can become loose on their own and you may swallow or aspirate them. If they fall off on their own, there will be leftover adhesive on the surface of the tooth that will need to be removed by a dentist. If the adhesive is left on the tooth, it can cut or cause irritation to the inside of the mouth.  

A gem is removed with special instruments that can dislodge the gem from its position. After removing the gem, the tooth will need to be smoothed and polished to remove the leftover bonding agent. This process can thin down the enamel on your teeth, which can cause tooth decay later on if teeth are not taken care of properly.   

Dental Hygiene with Tooth Gems  

If you have tooth gems, you will need to take extra care when brushing your teeth. You may need to purchase a softer toothbrush with more bristles to make sure the area around the gem is being properly cleaned. Plaque will build up around the gem and eat away at the surrounding enamel. Your tooth gem may look nice at first, but if you don’t take care of it, you could be left with painful cavities that will need to be filled and repaired by a dentist.   

DIY Tooth Gems  

Some people have taken it upon themselves to “DIY” their tooth gems. Many of these people are unaware of the damage that tooth gems cause, and they think their teeth will be fine after they’re removed. While there are some DIY tooth gem kits sold online, many people take standard rhinestones and superglue them to their teeth. Superglue is not intended to be used in the mouth. It contains chemicals that can cause allergic reactions and can cause irreparable damage to the teeth.   

If you are going to get tooth gems, please have them done by a professional that will have professional-quality materials and proper dental adhesives.   

Instead of tooth gems, consider enhancing your smile by having your teeth whitened! Whitening your teeth can bring the sparkle and shine that you may be looking for in your smile. Contact Sinquefield Family Dentistry for any questions you may have. Schedule an appointment today!