Black History Fashion Trend : Gold Teeth and Grills

A rundown of Black History trends would certainly not be complete without a discussion of Gold Teeth and Grills:

Before the advent of mercury amalgam fillings, dentists used gold to fill cavities or make crowns. Gold is bendable, can last for years, and is generally immune to significant corrosion.

Because gold fillings were historically the most expensive dental procedure, of course it followed that wearing gold teeth was seen as a status symbol (and still is in parts of Soviet Central Asia and in the Dirty South). According to this article, Gold Teeth and Grills, metal removable tooth coverings, became seen as a fashion statement in Miami in the 1960’s. In the 1980’s, rappers like Flava Flav, Big Daddy Kane, and Kool G Rap latched on to the idea, and increased the looks’ visibility and acceptance:

Since their appearance on the scene in 80’s rap, gold teeth have grown in popularity, with stars like Lil Wayne, Lil Jon, and Paul Wall sporting the look in music videos and on red carpets. Nelly, in his 2005 hit Grillz, solidified the looks’ status, rapping, “I got like platinum and white gold, traditional gold/I’m changin grillz errday, like Jay change clothes/ I might be grilled out nicely/ In my white tee/ On South beach/ in my wife beat.”

Now rappers wear grills in platinum, gold, or silver with multiple gems. Like other jewelry pieces associated with urban culture, grills communicate wealth, prestige, and are visible proof of a high level of disposable income.

What do you think of grills?

Source & Source

Claire

Claire Sulmers is the publisher and founder of Fashion Bomb Daily, the #43 most influential style magazine in the world.

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