It’s time to level up with your accessories. From the plentiful display of accessories at fashion month, it’s clear that the world is crying out for maximalism and overstated dressing as a fashion-forward antidote to the repression of lockdown dressing we’ve had to endure. And, as things begin to turn back to normal and we begin to lower our masks, we’re here to introduce the next step in your jewellery collection: teeth jewellery.
While the look primarily recalls the 90s and 00s hip-hop aesthetic, tooth bling has actually been around for millennia. Ancient Mayans from 300 to 900 AD would drill holes in their teeth and fill them with tiny jade stones to symbolise a higher social status, while wealthy Etruscan women from 800 to 200 BC were early adopters of what we now know as grillz.
Fast forward a few thousand years and social media has been a driving force behind the resurgence in tooth-gem trends. While Instagram influencers are a big part of popularising the trend, #toothgem also has 141.9 million views on TikTok. Good for business, yes, but not without its drawbacks: new stories about botched DIY jobs are popping up most days on the app.
To avoid this, we’re doing the research on the best places to get your grillz. From specialised tooth-gem studios, to mail order grillz, we’ve rounded up a few of places you can go to get your next sweet tooth.
LONDON GRILLZ – SOLID SINGLE CAP HEART DESIGN – £80 / US$109
Looking for streamlined and bespoke? London Grillz specialises in the design and manufacture of custom-made gold grillz. They are a family business, with combined experience of over 25 years in making gold teeth. They’re happy to work with you on new and unique designs, too. These grillz are specially crafted to fit your individual teeth – after shopping the grill you want on their site, they send you a mould impression kit to send back to them with your specific measurements. The grill is then hand-crafted for you in their studio and posted back!
We’ve picked out their Solid Single Cap Heart Design from their online store – an update on the classic ‘window’ style tooth cap that forms a frame around your tooth.
ISLA BERLIN – TOOTH GEMS DIY KIT – €35 / US$40
Want to do it yourself? ISLA Berlin is the Berlin offshoot of ISLA Creative – an online and offline community with a love for fashion, music and beauty. At ISLA Berlin, their physical store, you can shop streetwear, get your nails and braids done, DJ, or just hang with their crew.
They’ve recently started offering tooth gem applications in-store too: cop bootleg logos from the likes of Nike, Playboy and more or go for a classic Swarovski gem. You can also shop all of this on their online store – just purchase their tooth gem DIY application kit alongside your preferred gem and you’re good to go!
CLOVA RAE-SMITH – DOUBLE THORN CAP WITH STONE – £130 / US$177
Clova is a CULTED favourite. Despite still being a student at CSM, she has already made waves in the fashion and beauty industry with her bespoke, handcrafted grillz that have already been featured in major fashion publications and gained a loyal following. Handmade in London, you also have to send off your mould-impression kits to her to make the unique jewellery, or visit one of her pop-ups.
Setting opals and rubies within silver cages, Clova’s designs are futuristic, unique and authentic. Her speciality are her ‘thorn’ designs: an update on ‘window’ tooth caps that snake around the tooth in sharp lines.
CLOVA RAE-SMITH – SWAROVSKI GAP FILLER – £110 / US$150
Move fast: Clova is in demand and popping off on Instagram, so her slots sell out quickly. Another jewellery item she offers are ‘gap fillers’ – a jewelled bar that sits in between the teeth rather than on top of one. Don’t worry though, no actual gap is required – these can just slot in to your desired placement, gap or not.
As well as the ones you can shop online, part of the appeal of tooth jewellery is the process. Much like going to get your nails done, there are studios where you can pick out your gem and have it applied right there. Perfect if you’re on the move, or don’t trust yourself to do it at home!
PERLAS GEMS – €40+ / US$46+
If you find yourself in Spain, head down to one of Perlas Gems’ stores found in Barcelona, Madrid and Alicante. They too have a large selection of gems to choose from, and have even released a spooky range for halloween. (Think Tim Burton’s Nightmare Before Christmas, along with spiders and witches hats galore). These come in gold or silver, and they apply it for you in-store in a placement of your choosing. Trip to España, anyone?
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CRYSTAL CANINE – £25+ / US$34+
Another studio based just outside of London is Crystal Canine – the one stop shop for all tooth gem application needs. They too boast an impressive selection of gems, but won’t offer a ‘fixing’ service if you’ve ended up with superglue on your teeth from trying out the trend at home: founder Sophia is clear about “sending you straight off to your dentist” if this is the case. Prices here start from £25.
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