All about grillz – types, cost, care, complications, and more

Teeth are a huge part of our outward appearance. It is no wonder, then, that teeth “enhancements” are becoming more and more popular. While most people think about the best teeth aligners when it comes to improving the appearance of their teeth, others wish to add a more luxurious touch. This is where the first concept of grillz came from. In a nutshell, grillz are teeth covers made of precious materials such as gold, silver, or jewels. They have been popular with the hip-hop community for several decades now but are slowly becoming mainstream. In this article, we will be discussing all about grillz, including the various types, their cost, possible complications, how to care for your grillz, and much more!

What are grillz?

Grillz, also referred to as “fronts” or simply “grills”, are decorative teeth covers made of precious metals. They snap over one or more teeth, creating a luxurious and “over-the-top” appearance. Grillz are usually removable, but it is possible to alter your teeth in such a way as to obtain a permanent “grillz-like” appearance. Alternatively, one can permanently replace their teeth with fronts. They are perfectly safe to use and do not create any oral health complications on their own. However, grillz do nothing to correct the common types of crooked teeth, as they are not orthodontic devices. So, what are they, exactly?

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In essence, grillz are jewelry. However, each grill is unique to the wearer as only they can wear them. Most people consider grills to be eye-catching, at the very least. No matter what you think about them, the fact remains that someone that wears fronts will inevitably capture the attention of the room. Aside from being a fashion statement, there are two reasons why fronts became so popular in hip-hop culture. Hiding broken front teeth and displaying wealth, style, and status.

gold jewelry
Grillz are essentially jewelry for your teeth.

There’s no denying the connection between hip-hop culture and gang culture. In gang culture, it was quite common for gang members to lose their front teeth due to various activities, meaning that they often needed teeth replacements. And what better teeth replacements can there be than gold or diamond teeth? These days, grillz serve many more purposes than these two, and more and more celebrities are incorporating them into their fashion statements. However, it was not always like that.

A brief history of grillz

If this is your first time hearing about grillz, you may think that these jewelry pieces are something new and trendy. While the trendy part may be new, grills have been a part of hip-hop culture for decades. Two of the first rappers that introduced grillz to the public were Kilo Ali and Raheem The Dream, way back in the 1980s. Since then, the trend slowly expanded to other rappers such as Nelly, Big Gipp, Ali, and others. Some rappers have tried wearing fronts instead of wearing traditional metal braces, usually to their detriment. While grillz may be an excellent fashion expression, they are simply not suitable for any orthodontic work.

Throughout the decades, fronts had experienced popularity shifts until “exploding” in 2005 when Paul Wall created the hit song that was aptly named “Grillz”. Fast forward five years and Grillz gained increasing popularity through some big names such as Rhianna, Cara Delevigne, and Rita Ora.

Today, grillz are ever-present in the mainstream media. Some of the most popular celebrities that have worn grills include Beyonce, Rihanna, Miley Cyrus, Katy Perry, and Khloe Kardashian. While grillz are still mostly found within the hip-hop culture, they are slowly becoming more and more common among everyone else.

All about grillz – Everything you need to know!

If you want to know all about grillz, you need to understand the following:

  • Types of grillz
  • The cost of grillz
  • How to care for grillz
  • Possible complications
person with grillz biting a $10 note
Grillz can be extremely costly.

Furthermore, many people still wonder whether grillz are safe to use. The answer to that question is yes, provided that you use them properly. Your grillz need to match your teeth perfectly, for one. You also need to make sure that you are removing the fronts when you need to eat or brush your teeth. Of course, you need to properly clean your grillz, as well. Otherwise, they will start to accumulate food leftovers and dirt, leading to the creation of harmful bacteria. If you are not careful, finding efficient ways to cure bad breath might be the least of your concerns. That being said, if you properly care for your grillz, they pose no threat to your dental health. Unless, of course, you are allergic to the material the grills are made of. Speaking of which, the material that the grillz are made of usually determines the type.

Types of fronts

Since fronts are essentially jewelry, there are virtually countless different variations. However, we can observe the following types:

  • Diamond dust fronts
  • Deep cuts fronts
  • Gem filled fronts
  • Unadorned metal fronts

If you are looking to buy your first set, you may want to take a look at what is popular these days. The trends change rapidly, however, and it may so happen that what was popular yesterday is not popular today. Therefore, the best thing you can do is choose the type that you actually like. Furthermore, similar to how there are many questions to ask your orthodontist before braces, you will want to ask your dentist about fronts before making any final decision. It may so happen that placing fronts over your teeth may lead to other dental issues in the future.

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With that in mind, here’s a quick overview of fronts types:

  1. Diamond dust fronts
  2. Gem filled fronts
  3. Deep cuts fronts
  4. Unadorned metal fronts

Diamond dust fronts

Diamond dust fronts are one of the best types for people that are new to the entire fronts scene. They are less flashy than some of the other types but are quite beautiful in their own right. This grillz type features a diamond dust finish that offers a sparkly and shiny look that is not overwhelming.

an image of bluish glitter
Diamond dust fronts offer that “glittery” look.

Gem filled fronts

This grillz type is, perhaps, the most popular one. The reason for this is the fact that gem-filled grillz always attract attention, no matter where you are. The grillz themselves are not actually filled with gems but are covered with them instead. This allows for huge artistic freedom, as you can completely cover the grills with gems, cover them only partially, or create intricate jewel designs.

Deep cuts fronts

Deep cuts grillz are your “standard” grillz, so to speak, with an added intricacy to them. Many people dislike the whole sparkling thing that gem-filled and diamond dust grillz are all about, but they still want something that stands out. Deep cuts grillz offer this distinction via intricate cuts and gashes in the metal, allowing for the creation of simple patterns and even personal messages. If you are looking to overcome your smile insecurities with a “bang”, deep cuts grillz might be just the thing for you!

Unadorned metal fronts

Sometimes, simplicity is the best fashion statement. If you are someone who thinks this way, unadorned metal grillz might be the perfect fit. This grillz type does not have any etchings, engravings, gems, or anything of the sort, just plain, unadorned metal. Most “commercial” grillz of this type are made out of gold-plated sterling silver. Of course, they can be made out of any precious material, as per their wearer’s wishes (and wallet).

The cost

Due to the fact that grillz are made of precious materials, they can be extremely costly. However, due to their rising popularity, it is also possible to acquire a set of grillz for as low as $100. However, it is usually not in your best interest to go for the cheapest set, as they are usually mass-produced and might not fit your teeth perfectly. The cost itself varies on the brand, the design, the materials used, and whether the grillz are mass-produced or not.

person holding a $10 bill
Be prepared to pay quite a bit for your fronts.

Some of the most expensive grillz can go upwards of tens of thousands of dollars, depending on the brand, materials, and design. Similar to how there are many different types of braces to take into consideration, you will not be lacking for choice when it comes to grillz. The most important factor, however, is whether the grillz fit your teeth perfectly. Custom grillz are, of course, more expensive, but they are usually worth the additional cost.

Due to how expensive grillz can be, it is extremely important that you take good care of them.

How to care for grills

Taking care of your grills is not very different from taking care of your other jewelry. The only distinction is that you need to take care of them more often. Since grills go inside your mouth, you will want to clean them on a daily basis. This will allow you to maintain your oral health more easily, as you will not be introducing an overwhelming amount of bacteria to your mouth every time you put them on. A simple cleaning procedure is to use warm soapy water alongside a soft brush. You will also want to talk to the person who designed your grillz, as they will be able to tell you if there are any specific products you may want to use.

Possible complications

Even though fronts are inherently safe to use if maintained properly, they are still something that attaches to your teeth. This means that grills have the potential to increase the risk of gum disease as well as tooth decay. This is due to the fact that bacterial plaque has a tendency to get trapped between the fronts and the surface of your teeth. If you are not careful, this plaque buildup will form acids over time and compromise your oral health. Furthermore, many people choose not to take their fronts off while they eat, which may interfere with their bite. Lastly, wearing fronts has the possibility of inducing headaches and pain as your mouth is propped open in an unnatural position.

How do grillz and aligners “mix”?

Grillz are usually designed for people who already have straight teeth. Therefore, if you need to wear an aligner, you will want to wait until your teeth are as straight as possible before fitting grillz. Furthermore, you will want to talk to your dentist before purchasing fronts, as they may interfere with your teeth in unpredictable ways.

person wearing braces
It is always best to wear grills and aligners separately.

Can you wear grillz and aligners at the same time?

Yes and no. Since both aligners and grills go over your teeth, so to speak, it is not recommended to wear them both at the same time. You can, technically, do so, but you will end up looking like you are wearing a mouthpiece all day long. Needless to say, this defeats the entire purpose of grills as fashion accessories. If they are not making you look better, they are not serving their primary purpose after all. Furthermore, the very fact that you want to wear both aligners and fronts at the same time indicates that you have an issue with your teeth. Wearing grills over your aligners will make fixing that issue much more difficult.

Can aligners look like fronts?

While you may not be able to purchase fronts that serve as orthodontic devices, it is entirely possible to purchase aligners that resemble grills. Of course, these aligners are much more expensive than their “normal” variants, and they might be somewhat harder to procure. That being said, there is nothing preventing you from embellishing your aligners with precious metals and making them more grills-like. Of course, you will also need a specialized orthodontist who can make a set for you.

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And that was all about grillz! If you need any additional information about your fronts, teeth braces, or anything else that concerns your oral health, Consumer Opinion Guide is your go-to resource! Our knowledge database is here to provide you with answers to any teeth-related questions you might have!

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