Fashion and beauty standards are a continually evolving landscape that is reflective of society at the time. Fashion often provides a glimpse into an individual as fashion and beauty choices help to convey the attitude, values and beliefs of someone. Fashion is often defined by experimentation, innovation and revival. Iconic fashion eras or decades are often revitalised in modern fashion trends and fades. The optimum smile is associated with bright, white teeth and promotes a healthy dental regime. Other teeth fades such as tooth gaps have been popularized by famous models and entertainers such as Madonna and Georgia Jagger. A particularly controversial tooth trend emerged in the 90’s hip-hop era with many entertainers of the time adorning tooth jewels or ‘grills’. Unfortunately when it comes to tooth hygiene, most trends and fades do more harm than good for your pearly whites. The damage a passing fade can do to the appearance of your teeth is permanent and will be costly to fix. Despite the risk tooth fashion is very much again on the rise, here are the trends of the day:
Popularised by society’s obsession with vampires and the success of series like Twilight and The Walking Dead, fangs are a thing people are actively chasing. Historically, it’s recorded that Indigenous communities sharpened incisors as part of cultural traditions and ceremonies. Today fangs are fast becoming a fashion statement, especially within the rock and goth communities. Fangs can be purchased as veneers that can be inserted and removed with ease. More extreme measures include a professional shortening your front teeth and having your canines filed. This is a permanent measure and not recommended by any dental professionals as it can lead to complications down the road. It’s also an irreversible procedure that may cause regret down the track.
Braces are an orthodontic mechanism which is used to straighten, align and adjust teeth. While their purpose enhances the overall appearance of teeth, they are also used to treat orthodontic conditions. Traditionally, braces are prevalent among adolescents and symbolise growing up. For a long time, braces were a source of discomfort for teens, as the metal appearance of them would trigger insecurity and teasing from their peers. The tide however seems to have very much turned with the rise of ‘fashion braces’ and dental practitioners are raising the alarm. Fake braces are made from wire and brackets that are glued to the teeth then clicked around the back teeth for support. They are especially popular in developing countries where braces are considered to be a sign of prosperity. The fake braces come in a range of colours and patterns and are usually fitted by the wearer themselves or a unauthorised salon or vendor. There are many risks associated with fake braces some of which being the side-effects the glue has on the teeth and the lead of the wire. Fake braces have been traced to mouth sores and tooth discolouration and decay.
Tooth tattoos are increasingly becoming the choice for people looking for a unique alternative to the traditional tattoo. Aside from being a distinct form of self-expression, tooth tattoos usually fade with time making them less of a commitment than a skin tattoo. The process of getting a tooth tattoo is extremely different to that of the skin and requires a trained dental professional alongside a tattoo artist. There’s one catch: tooth tattoos can only be applied to crowns, not real teeth. The chosen artist paints the tattoo design on the crown using a dental grade sealant to protect it from salvia. A dentist then applies the crown to your choice of tooth, with the molars being the most popular. Tooth tattoos are a relatively safe procedure when done under professional supervision. While tooth fashion trends seem to be on the rise, it still rings true that there is no better beauty accessory than a bright smile. A effective dental regime includes brushing, flossing and whitening and pose much less of a risk than some of the tooth fades that can have serious long-term consequences on the health and appearance of your teeth. Before making any decisions, it’s always best to consult a dental professional.