How To Turn Your Teeth Into A Fashion Statment

When it comes to cosmetic dentistry, most people instinctively seek out the most subtle, natural-looking, unobtrusive restorations or corrections possible, hiding the fact that they've had any work done at all. But if you're the type of person who always dares to be different, you may be wondering how you can make your teeth stand out instead of fading into the background. Here are a few bold ideas for your bold new mouth.

Colored Braces and Elastics

Braces have been stigmatized in the past, partly because a mouthful of metal looks utilitarian rather than fashionable. Many wearers compensate by getting clear or tooth-colored braces that "disappear" against the teeth. On the other end of spectrum, however, others have embraced their orthodontic status by selecting colored braces. You can choose from an entire palette of fashionable shades for your braces' wires, elastics and/or brackets. 

If colored brackets make a little bolder statement that you'd prefer, but you still want to add some color and cheer to your smile, you can always pt for traditional metal braces with colored elastics. The great advantage to this approach is that colored elastics won't cost you a penny extra, whereas some orthodontists may charge more for colored braces.

Metallic Crowns

In today's world of "invisible" cosmetic dentistry, a flashy metallic crown can make a striking impression. Precious metals were historically the default material for fashioning crowns. Gold alloy remains popular, not only for its beauty but also for its durability. Gold has the further advantage of not reacting much to heat or cold. You can also get crowns made from silver or platinum. If the price tag for precious metals is out of your reach, ask about the prices of non-precious lookalike alloys.

Jeweled Teeth

If you want even more bling than a metallic crown can provide, you might consider paying a premium to have rubies, diamonds, or other (real or not-so-real) jewels attached to your teeth. This trend has exploded among music artists, sports stars and other celebrities, but it's still unusual enough to draw attention. Ironically, it's also one of the oldest forms of dental beautification; ancient Native Americans were bejeweling their teeth, using surprisingly sophisticated drilling methods, at least 2,500 years ago.

Even if you don't like the idea of having jewels drilled into your enamel, you can still purchase little sparkly decorations that adhere harmlessly to your teeth with the same type of glue used for braces. When you're tired of your decoration, simply ask your dentist to remove it.

Tooth Tattoos

If a picture is worth a thousand words, a picture on your tooth is bound to make you the center of conversation. Modern cosmetic dentistry has turned this concept into reality by introducing tooth tattoos. Perhaps they should more properly be called crown tattoos, since the images are permanently affixed to crowns or caps, not your natural teeth. This is all for the better, because it means you can always replace your current tattooed crown with a different one (or an undecorated one).

You'll be stunned by the sheer range of tooth tattoo imagery available -- everything from photographic reproductions of celebrities and popular symbols subtly-colored pastel drawings that resemble hand-painted artwork. In addition to the standard cost of the crown, expect to pay from $75 to $200 for each tattoo, a small price to pay for all the attention you'll get.

As you can see, cosmetic dentistry offers some amazing possibilities for turning your smile into headline news wherever you go. If you're ready to make that kind of stylistic splash, talk to your cosmetic dentist about the available options, and be sure to listen carefully to any warnings or potential pitfalls before you launch into your new look.