Grills and Caps: A Trend to Define the 2020s
Updated: Dec 8, 2020
Capture Hearts with a Single Glimmer of Your Golden Smile
by Maurice Alexander
All images courtesy of GoldGrillzUK
I bring to you the next iconic fashion trend for both men and women; dental jewellery. It was only a matter of time considering the rising price of gold, the overwhelming popularity of rap music stars and a newfound appreciation for Belle Epoch menswear, along with the Gilded Age’s interior design tastes and artistic styles. I promise you that in the coming months you will begin to see more glimmering accessories in the mouths of your most fashionable peers and they’re sensible to get them. Real gold jewellery goes with any outfit, both streamlined streetwear and luxury black-tie. The following paragraphs detail the history of golden teeth, gold karat ratings, caps and grill designs on the market, my own experience in getting a golden tooth cap from GoldGrillzUK, how and when to wear golden dental accessories and their maintenance.
The History of Golden Dental Jewellery
Commonly associated with the underground rap scene throughout the urban centres of American cities and London, golden teeth have a history reaching back into the mists of antiquity. 2720 years ago, an ancient civilisation in the Italian region of Tuscany, the Etruscans, frequently made use of the shining metal for primitive dental crowns and utilised finely woven gold threads to hold false teeth in place, with the glittering mouths of their time-worn skeletons being beautiful evidence of these practices.
The transitory century between the Late Middle Ages and the Early Renaissance saw the European development of dental practices with golden being the primary choice for the, then newly developed, dentures alongside carved ivory and dense-grain wood. These, now luxury choices, were the standard dentalcare materials until 1903, when a dental crown fully composed of white porcelain entered the dental marketplace. Mimicking the appearance of real teeth flawlessly, it was terrifically popular and promptly dispelled the allure of gold as a dental material. It wasn’t until the late 1980s were they would find a newfound revival in the music scenes of the United States of America and now in 2020 with their resurgence in popularity amongst the fashion conscience on the epicentre of all modern trends, Instagram.
Explaining Gold Quality
Gold is well known for its illustrious shine and wholly unreactive nature which allows perpetual longevity in its brilliant appearance. However, frequently mentioned alongside gold is the ‘karat’ classification, its meaning being unknown to most people. Karat indicates the purity or ‘fineness’ of the gold in question. Gold is spoken of in terms of it being made of 24 parts, with 24 karat gold being 100% gold purity. The proportion of gold in the alloy determines various properties, with the following being the most common karat standards available at general retailers of fine jewellery and specifically provided by GoldGrillzUK who are the market leaders for this industry in the UK with a wealth of experience in this sector:
18/24 parts gold (75%), a strong warm tone of yellow, rose or white colour serving as the body of of radiant jewellery commanding the highest price.
14/24 parts gold (58.5%), a weaker but still clearly yellow, rose or white coloured metal commanding a medium price.
10/24 parts gold (41.7%), a much softer, subtle shade of yellow, rose or white commanding a favourable price without comprising on a glamourous image.
An option commanding the lowest price of all the tiers, reflecting the purity of its gold, yet, still better than having no gold tooth at all! A perfect option for those hesitant about investing in a cap or grill of higher purity.
You might to be surprised to learn that silver is not used for dental jewellery as it is more reactive in nature and can cause poisoning when held in the mouth. However, alloys (gold mixed with other fine metals) provide alternative materials to use, with white gold serving as a perfect substitute and rose gold being a fashionable newcomer on the jewellery scene, being a luxury alloy of gold and copper.
It is especially important that dental jewellery is only purchased from professional vendors like GoldGrillzUK and the competitors based in the UK. This is for you own safety, as you do not know if jewellers abroad or home-brew jewellery contains reactive, toxic agents. Never risk your life for a fashion trend.
We’ve all seen gold accessories in the mouth of famous celebrities, music artists, models and within high-energy, all-consuming advertising campaigns. But what exactly are they? There are two types of dental accessories:
‘Caps’, a shining cast of precious metal of a single tooth that you can effortlessly slip on over it.
‘Grills’, a cast of multiple front teeth that slide on over the teeth in the same way as the single tooth cap. They come in two types; top and bottom, both looking fabulous on their own or paired together. Being cast of multiple teeth, they command a higher price than caps of one or two teeth,
As described before, single gold teeth are just that; a golden cast that fits perfectly around your chosen tooth. This is a professional looking standard dental accessory, but GoldGrillzUK showcase their creativity through a multitude of various cap designs.
These include vampire fangs (caps with a pointed tip), two teeth piece (conjoined caps of two adjacent teeth), cap with a gold strip (a cap with an adjacent lower band of gold reaching over the next tooth), window design (the outer perimeter of the tooth cast in gold), pineapple (a finely textured cap of a multitude of diagonally slashes creating a diamond-shape pattern on its surface), Heart (similar to the window design, where the golden perimeter is thicker with the internal border being shaped into a romantic loveheart shape), Star (like the Heart but with the a classic star shape), Strip/Filler (a strip of gold that fits snugly between a slight gap between two teeth) and Dank (a cap softly embellished with cannabis leaves). All of these designs can be combined and GoldGrillzUK is happy to discuss a custom order with you.
Same as the previous description, smoothly sleek golden covering to the entire upper or lower row of teeth, typically the front six. Like caps, grills are a wonderful object for artistic expression and a marvellous creation of a jeweller’s craftsmanship.
Grill designs include Pineapple Canine (canines styled with the pineapple effect with a row of smooth golden casted teeth), Gold Bar (canines cast in solid gold joined together by a thin gold bar laid upon the top of the teeth between them), Windows (multiple window caps held together by their melded outer perimeters), Playing Cards (a grill holding within its golden frame the four classical playing card icons; the heart, spade, club and diamond immortalised in black and/or red enamel), Strips/Gap Fillers (a subtle grill of golden strips between the gaps of the teeth), Drip (my personal favourite; a gorgeously creative grill with the appearance of a viscous dripping liquid), Diamond Dust (a grill with a unique surface design to capture the light and produce frequent glimmers), and Gold Dust (a softly textured surface to foster a brilliant array of shimmering light).
The luxury aesthetic of the mentioned caps and grills can be further augmented with the addition of diamonds, a service also offered by GoldGrillzUK. ‘Iced’ is the term for caps/grills wholly covered in precious gems, ‘half-iced’ being diamonds applied to one side only. Diamond colour is not restricted to classic white, as diamonds in an ice blue, a bright yellow and a deep purple are also available for icing, appearing as delicious as they sound. Do not fear of them falling out as the diamonds are set within the gold upon the grill/cap creation, providing full security in its position.
My Own Experience
I myself had first seen golden tooth caps on Instagram through various influencer, music artist and magazine accounts. Seeing their growing popularity, brought forth a desire to keep up with the changing seasons of fashion and style, and I decided to purchase a standard 10 karat yellow gold cap from GoldGrillzUK, the largest provider of golden dental accessories in the UK. This was new experience for me and, chances are, if you’re reading this, the process of getting a custom cap will be for you also. Therefore, to dispel any trepidation on your part, I detail my own experience with GoldGrillzUK in the following paragraphs.
You begin the process of getting a cap/grill in two ways; going into their shop for an in-person visit to view what they have to offer or go on their website to see the items online. Do not be put off getting a cap/grill through their website, as all photographs are professionally shot with revealing lighting and of the highest quality; what you see is what you’ll be getting. One point to keep in mind is that the cap/grill in the photo may not be the karat you intend on ordering. This is obvious with some items, like the rose gold ones, but you may be looking at an 18 karat grill and you order a 10 karat one online and are surprised at the end of the process that its not got that strong, sun-yellow shade to the metal. To get around this, just look at the single cap image, which has all the various cap metal types and karats, identify what karat you’ll be wanting it, and envision your desired in that karat to see if it still lives up to your dreams. Following this, being sure to specify the tooth from YOUR perspective, place the order.
In a few days’ time, you will receive a package in the mail containing a slip of paper and two moulding kits. The paper slip is summary of your order, specifying its karat, price order number and item type with an accompanying illustration of a set of teeth specifying the position of your chosen tooth from the perspective of a person looking at you face to face (you might start doubting that it’s the right position, but just trust yourself that you’ve specified the correct tooth- it worked for me!). At the bottom of the paper will be a box in which you sign your signature, specifying you are of age and that you consent to the process.
The moulding kits are a cobalt blue mouthpiece along with two clear tubs, each separately containing a green and a white putty. What you are to do is mix the two putties together until one single colour, place it in the front of the mouthpiece and push it up or down (depending on your grill or cap going on the upper or lower set of teeth) over the teeth and the gumline, holding it still in that position for 4 minutes (it sounds awful but it not at all. Just put a YouTube video on and watch the time for 4 minutes) before slowly pulling it down from your teeth after gently wiggling it a bit to dislodge its grip. I know, you don’t trust yourself and you think you’ll mess it up and waste your money. GoldGrillzUK saves you the worry as they provide an easy to find demonstrative video on their website in the ‘How It Works’ section (its much easier than you think) and if you do mess it up somehow, you can repurchase a set of moulds on the ‘Extras’ section of their website. You might want to only purchase one moulding but, its necessary they have two so they can compare the castings to ensure you get a cap/grill they’re confident that will fit. What great is, these first two moulding kits are included in the price you pay for the dental accessories, so you’ve already saved yourself £60 from step one!
You won’t think that you’ve done it properly since it is difficult, almost impossible, to see the fine detail of your teeth and gumline that the casting will have captured in its curing process, but as long as the putty went over your teeth and the gums, ensuring that it was held in place with no movement for the specified time, you will have done it correctly. Keep the casting within the mouthpiece, leaving it to air-dry overnight, place them in a package/envelop lined with bubble-wrap and send it to the address GoldGrillzUK under ‘Signed For’ as you don’t want the postal service to lose it and you have to repurchase the moulding kits again.
Following this, a week or two later, depending on the item you purchase as diamond items take an extra week to craft, your divine dental accessory will arrive. Within the plastic envelope, will be a black parcel with the feel and appearance high luxury; all black and embellished with the GoldGrillzUK icon, a shimmering gold Rococo ‘G’ within a crest flanked by two standing lions. Contained within is a cast of your teeth (it will make you think, my teeth really look like that?) and a small box. You don’t need to keep the white cast of your mouth, but since it looks like the jaw of a skeleton, I suppose you could use it as a Halloween paperweight. Within the ring-box, themed identically as the parcel with its all black form and central golden crest, was my gold cap resting in its velvet innards. Keep this little box, as a velvet-lined container is a necessity for storing caps and grills which ensures they stay tarnish-free; just because gold items command a high price, they are not indestructible and should be treated with great care like any other piece of fine jewellery.
Before trying it own for the first time, brush your teeth and face a mirror with the cap/grill. Position the cap below the tooth you bought it for (you may have to figure out what way it goes round) and push it up slowly towards the tooth with a gentle, yet continuous, pressure until you feel it ‘clip’ around your tooth. At that point, release your grip. You will feel a slight pressure on your tooth (there are nerves in there after all) and you will immediately feel like something is in your mouth that’s about to fall out. It won’t happen though and, after a minute or two, this feeling will subside. Don’t be afraid of the pressure doing damage to your teeth, as it is only very slight and you’re best thinking of it as a confirmation that it’s staying its place. This will me a new sensation for you and your tongue will be, naturally, very curious and continually pivot itself under and around your cap/grill, but this inner mouth movement will go away after an hour or so once the sensation is normalised.
One thing I will say is that you won’t be able to comfortably grit your teeth with the top set laying perfectly upon the bottom set, so you will always have to have you jaw slightly held off of your teeth. It’s not painful or uncomfortable, it’s just an odd feeling that leaves you after the first time wearing the cap, never to return. You will not look like your holding your jaws apart. As I write this, I’ve had the cap in for a few hours and feel no discomfort whatsoever. If you just have a cap, you don’t need to hold your jaws very slightly apart, you could just shift the pressure onto the other side of the mouth which doesn’t have cap.
How and When to Wear Golden Caps and Grills
Being a high-price luxury item, gold caps/grills are a showpiece for weekends, get-togethers, dates and events.
Caps and grills show your attentiveness towards men’s fashion and because you’ll have one before they become an official trend in the mass media, you’ll catch everyone eye will a single glimmer of your golden smile. There’s something so playfully masculine about a guy with straight, white teeth with a golden canine brightly shining out from soft lighting of an upscale bar or nightclub, especially if paired with slim-fitting Fred Perry polo-shirt or a well-fitting, fashionable suit when sipping sweet champagne in the audience overlooking the verdant raceways of a Summer horse-racing event.
Continuing the alluring contrast of typically urban, golden dental accessories with elite menswear suits and environments, golden teeth fit perfectly with the present trends and fashions spurred on from the popularity of Peaky Blinders. Set in the 1920s, golden crowns would have still been used by the working classes of the time, as the new porcelain crowns would have commanded a much greater cost. So, with your slim fit suit, brogues and flat cap- a gold cap would be the perfect touch creating an authentic, Belle Epoch, turn-of-the-century, Peaky Blinders style that so many men have come to love!
Golden dental accessories can also look ravishing on a woman, specifically a high-karat rose gold item. As described above, I think a solid gold tooth, specifically in yellow gold, is quite a masculine item to wear. Therefore, cap and grill styles I recommend for the fairer sex would be a single cap in the Windows design, Heart design or Star design and for a more prominent piece of dental jewellery would be a grill (upper, lower, or both together) in the Windows style. These items have that glamourous touch but a much softer, feminine design that complements the image of woman.
I would also avoid wearing them to a restaurant meal. However, as someone that loves food and whose chief socialising occurs around food at restaurants and dinner, I’ve found a good system that works, especially if the meal is after exploring a new city or following a romantic date after the sparkling Summer mid-afternoons. Order your meal as normal, (you can drink with the cap or grill in but keep it to a minimum) and at some point, during the first drink, excuse yourself from the table and go into the bathroom. Take the small, compact box you had received the cap or be sure to purchase a small velvet-lined bag which will be more subtle than a square box and remove your cap or grill. It takes half a second to remove, place it in the box/bag and then into your purse/pocket. Re-join the dining table and enjoy a meal with zero-discomfort. Repeat this, returning the cap/grill into your mouth, once the after-coffee and/or cheeseboard is finished. If anyone mentions that you don’t have your cap or grill in at the dining table (they won’t do it to be rude, they will think that you’ve swallowed in during the meal) just explain that its uncomfortable to eat in and that you removed it. Where you go to remove/reinsert the cap/grill, never remove the cap or grill at the table or in the presence of someone; its unsightly and seeing a person remove something from their mouth is excessively intimate and triggers a natural revulsion, a feeling you never wish to experience just before dining.
GoldGrillzUK recommends that you shouldn’t drink or smoke with the caps or grills in because they can cause the metal to tarnish. A few drinks wouldn’t ruin the look at all but don’t make a habit out of it. Plain water drunk normally is fine.
After wearing, remove the cap/grill and wash with warm water with a gentle soap like washing-up liquid. Be sure to thoroughly wash off the soap substance, drying off the inside with a soft brush. A good brush for this would be a ‘trumpet cleaning snake’. Ignore the ridiculous name, they are simply a very thin brush with impossibly soft bristles- the perfect size and texture for cleaning the inside of a cap, highly necessary to prevent a build-up of bacteria. Gently dry it off the surface with the use of a cotton-bud and lay it to rest and air-dry overnight on a cotton pad.
Jewellery cleaners must not recommended as they are heavily toxic when ingested, so avoid the scenario of you poisoning yourself altogether by not using it, as you are placing the cap and grill in your mouth for hours at a time.
To preserve a brilliant shine, you actually don’t need any solutions whatsoever. ‘Gold Polishing Clothes’ are inexpensive and last forever. I purchased a ‘Town Talk Brilliant Gold Polishing Cloth’ from John Lewis for £3.99, packaged in a charming little box with the easiest instructions printed on its back. No elixirs, creams or solutions required, just a gentle rub to restore the shine.