Are Tooth Gems Bad For Your Teeth?

There's a common, though often harmful, saying that beauty is pain. What might look beautiful or fashionable to some, like wearing high heels or waxing off body hair, can lead to aches and stings later. Similarly, beauty treatments can sometimes be detrimental to physical health. Fad diets that promise quick weight loss, for example, tend to promote dangerous deprivation (per Healthline). Additionally, tanning to get glowy skin is known to cause cancer (per The Skin Cancer Foundation).

Tooth gems are another style trend that might pose health risks. They are small jewels or rhinestones usually attached to one or two teeth, explains InStyle. A dentist applies the jewelry by first etching the tooth with an acid and then bonding the gem to the tooth's surface. Then, the gem remains on the tooth for six weeks to a year depending on the type of gem applied, according to Nylon.

These tiny tooth accessories may seem innocuous, but some dentists warn that they could damage your pearly whites (via Healthline).

You may want to think twice before getting trendy tooth gems

Tooth gems have been spotted on celebrities, like Hailey Bieber and Kendall Jenner, according to The List, so surely they're safe, right? Not so fast, says Healthline. One potential risk of tooth gems is that they can break off and be swallowed, which could cause choking. They may also become infected or irritate the lips and gums.

While tooth gems might make your teeth sparkle, they can be bad for your choppers. Dr. Brian Kantor, a cosmetic dentist, told Allure, "Tooth gems can trap plaque and create places for stray food particles and harmful bacteria to hide." This could lead to tooth decay and other dental issues. Dr. Michael Apa, an aesthetic dentist, also added that there is a risk of chipping or breaking your teeth if the gems are improperly placed. Additionally, tooth jewelry can cause enamel erosion (via Healthline), which can make teeth more susceptible to sensitivity and discoloration (per WebMD).

Though tooth gems may not be recommended by some dentists, dental hygienist Shannon Nanne told InStyle that the risks are low as long as you brush regularly and practice healthy dental hygiene habits. It's also a good idea to visit a dentist's office for application or removal rather than trying to do it yourself at home, she says.