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Baring their teeth: 5 oral art designers getting up in your grill


TextCordelia Speed

Clova Rae-Smith, Juanita Care, Youth Grillz Paris, Joshua Myszczynski, and Tu Desomer-Chu are a handful of designers taking teeth to another level

It’s 2021 and we’re leaving the dangerous teeth whitening trend behind us (step away from the household bleach TikTok…). Once we stop the fruitless search for perfectionism and swap it for individuality, the possibilities are limitless.

Grillz and oral art are by no means new: baring a mouth full of gold dates way back to the Etruscans, an ancient Italian society in 800 BC and later became a defining feature in 80s hip hop music videos worn by the likes of Slick Rick and Flavor Flav. Today, whether we’re obsessing over Frank Ocean’s latest tooth cap or debating if Madonna’s grillz cross the line from cultural appreciation to appropriation, oral art claims its place in popular culture and is here to stay.

More than a fashion accessory, oral art is a form of self-expression. As the most intimate part of our bodies with which we kiss, communicate, and consume, the mouth is full of potential for artistic exploration of the interior. Each tooth offers its own little canvas onto which we can paint the story we want to present to the world.

No two sets of teeth are alike and in the dental jewellery industry this is a cause for celebration. Diastemata, the gap-tooth or as the French like to call them ‘les dents du bonheur’, are decorated with diamonds rather than forced into place with braces. Redefining societal beauty standards, the oral arts industry encourages us to embrace our originality, experiment, and have fun. 

Here, we meet five upcoming oral art designers who aren’t afraid to get up in your grill. 

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