The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Trend on tooth

Shining smile has a whole new meaning these days. The smile doesn’t need to be honest. Or open-mouthed like Anne Hathaway’s. Or one that can light up your eyes. Shining smile may simply mean a smile that shines quite literally, with the help of a dot (big or small) of Swarovski, gem, or yellow metal that sits pretty on your tooth.

Tooth jewellery has been a craze with the cool people (many from the music industry) the world over and it is slowly catching up with trying-not-to-be-conservative Calcutta. “Internationally, tooth jewellery is a rage with GeNext sticking crazy emblems all over their front teeth. But in India, it is subtle,” says dental surgeon Shruti Vidhawan Agarwal.

Still in its nascent stage of popularity, tooth jewels are being shelled out by city dentists who are first educating people about the beauty trick and then fixing them a little sparkly.

And as always, Calcutta is lagging behind the other metros in the TQ (trend quotient). Dentist Sneha Tapdiya says that tooth jewels have been hot for around five years in Mumbai and are just about catching up in Calcutta. “Whenever I used to see a pretty female patient, I would recommend it to them. Then I put one on myself as a demo…. It takes a while to convince them that it is very harmless but once they go for it, they can’t stop smiling!” says Sneha.

Youngsters who want to stand out, look cool and different and who are not into piercing and tattoos are number one on the trendy tooth list, says Hitesh Shah of Shah Dental Clinic.

There is a lot to choose from — white, blue, red or green stones or stars, fish, hearts in gold — but dentists agree that a little white stone tops the pop list. Swarovski offers dental crystals and there is also Skyce, a range by Vivadent. Then there is a plethora of non-branded zirconium.

The fitting takes about 15 minutes and is painless since there is no cutting or drilling of the tooth surface. Shruti recommends the second incisor tooth to be jewelled. “The tooth is cleaned, dried and special fluid is applied. The chosen crystal is placed and cured with a blue light,” explains Shah.

Ananya Saraf has been living with a shiny stud on her tooth for the past one year. She jewelled her tooth because “it looks so trendy and different without costing a bomb”. The pocket pinch depends on the jewel, it could be anything from Rs 300 to Rs 4,000.

“Right now we are still playing it safe. In Europe and America tooth jewellery is an art. There are pendants, pictures, tattoos and even miniature paintings that are worn as accessories on the tooth,” says Shah.

PS: It might take a while to learn how to graze the toothbrush over your sparkly and digest your meal without worrying about a decorative bit inside your system, but once you’re over it, it can be fun. And if you get bored, it can always be removed.

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