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Grillz, grills, fronts, or that funky thing rappers wear on their teeth are among the more unique types of jewelry. They’ve been popular in the hip-hop community for decades, but it was only in the last several years that they’ve really come into the mainstream.
With celebrities like Madonna, Beyonce, Miley Cyrus, and Rihanna flaunting them, it’s interesting to ask:
What exactly are Grillz and can I wear them too? Are they safe, are they a good idea if you’re not a hip-hop fan, how should you care for them, and are Grillz for girls a thing?
Grillz, for the uninitiated, are gold or diamond fake teeth covers that are worn over teeth. They can be made from a lot of other jewelry materials and not just gold or diamonds, but these seem to be the most popular ones.
The original inception of Grillz decades ago had two main purposes:
- To hide the any broken front teeth of some gang members
- To display wealth, status and style
Why have normal fake teeth implants in your mouth when you can have diamonds, right? No one can argue with that logic. After all, metal or gold fake teeth replacements to broken teeth have been used before the creation of Grillz jewelry.
Grillz can be both permanent teeth replacements and temporary additional covers on top of your teeth. These two types are quite different in the way they’re supposed to be used but have a similar visual effect from the outside.
In this article we’ll be mainly talking about temporary Grillz as a fashion choice – if you’re thinking about replacing broken teeth with Grillz then you should consult a dentist.
Nowadays, Grillz is mostly a fashion statement and is worn by more and more people, still mostly among the hip-hop crowd. An interesting and unique type of jewelry, Grillz is eye-catching, fun to wear, and can have a lot of different designs like the famous Ryan Lochte’s American flag Grillz from 2012.
What makes Grillz so special is that they’re unique to the wearer. They represent your style and only you can wear them. They’re truly personal pieces of jewelry.
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History Of Grillz
Grillz may be increasingly popular now but they aren’t something new. Grillz has been a part of the hip-hop culture for decades ever since the 1980s when rappers like Raheem The Dream or Kilo Ali started using them.
At first, this was mostly a southern phenomenon but then the jeweler Eddie’s Gold Teeth brought the style to New York and rappers like Afrika Bambaataa and Slick Rick joined in on the trend.
Grillz’s popularity didn’t have a constant upward trajectory, however. It wasn’t long before the trend started to die out and remained popular mostly in Memphis and Houston.
It was the explosion of Dirty South rap from the likes of Ludacris and Lil’ Jon that brought grillz back. In 2005 Paul Wall made the mega-hit “Grillz” which was an ode to Grillz, featuring other rappers such as Ali, Nelly, and Big Gipp and further increased the popularity of that fashion device.