The latest teeth trends and what they’re really doing to your mouth

Dentists have warned their Australian patients against having dental work done to make their teeth 'imperfect'. As a new generation fight back against the glossy images of models with their perfect smiles, imperfection is becoming fashionable. People want to stand out from the crowd and are beginning to have work done to undo their perfect smiles, but this fashion comes at a cost.

Dracula fangs. Many teenagers go through a dark vampire phase and some never grow out of it. The desire for sharpened canines has been around for a long time but is now becoming fashionable across the world. The effect is achieved by gluing artificial canines over the natural teeth, either temporarily or permanently. Depending on the glue used, the toxins from the adhesive can cause allergic reactions or may poison the wearer.

Snaggletooth. This is a trend which started in Japan. It involves making certain teeth, usually the canines, more pronounced than others. In Japanese culture it is believed this gives the person a youthful look. This is done by gluing fake teeth over the natural ones, leaving the wearer with the same risks as Dracula fangs.

The trend also refers to having a broken tooth, giving the person a crooked smile. In these cases, if left untreated the broken tooth can become extremely sensitive with damage done to the exposed nerve. Sharp edges can also irritate the gum, tongue and cheek, leaving nasty cuts and leaving the mouth open to infection.

The 'London gap'. Many people are born with a natural gap, known as a diastema, between their two front teeth. Some may have once had theirs fixed by orthodontic treatments, while some may be worried about smiling and showing it off. Well, they no longer have a need to be ashamed of their gap. Nicknamed the 'London Gap' because the trend started in the UK, the procedure involves sanding down the edges of the front teeth to create the gap. Creating an unnatural gap is quite invasive and can damage the front teeth. There is a risk of the teeth fracturing under the pressure of the sanding. The procedure can weaken the enamel and leave the tooth and nerve exposed which will cause pain.  

Everyone should be encouraged to embrace their uniqueness. If you were born with a natural 'London Gap' or elongated canine teeth, then be proud. But before undergoing any cosmetic work to your teeth, consult your dentist on the risks and whether the procedure can be reversed.