What are Grillz?
How did gold teeth become so popular in hip hop culture?
When you think of top hip hop stars, you think of bling and style that shows off wealth and success. The flashiest way to show off is by wearing grillz in your mouth! With the originators being the likes of Flavor Flav and Nelly, (both seen flashing their gold grills all up in yo face on celebrity TV and their latest music videos), it's no wonder everyone wants a piece of that Hollywood bling action. The trend very much started with the hip-hop industry, but that's definitely not where it's staying, especially with the likes of Kylie Jenner and Justin Bieber helping the trend along. Now, anyone can wear full on bling in their mouth and look like a superstar!
Hip Hop jewelry is a unique style that's bold and includes everything from big and heavy gold chains with pendants, flashy gold rings, and iced out watches, and even blinged up mobile phones. The look is distinctive and designed to show off wealth and get respect from anyone. Other countries and cultures might see this as doing "too much" or outrageous, but in America, this is what's in style.
The History of Grillz in Hip Hop
Grillz are now a common staple in hip hop culture
Giving respect where it's due, the history of Hip-Hop is where the phrase "bling bling", all began. Most recently with the legendary Jay-Z picking up on the phrase first used by Dana Dane in 1987, in her top-charting album "Dana Dane with Fame" and the top 20 single "Nightmares", the phrase Bling-bling became synonymous with Hip-hop style and celebrity status. The phrase is no longer exclusive to the Hip-hop scene and is now used across the globe and is a multi-cultural expression also used in Latin and European music. Almost everywhere the phrase has the same meaning however in France it's definitely not considered a complimentary phrase to describe someone as "Blinged up" or "bling bling", there the cultural differences mean that it is someone wealthy flaunting their wealth in an ill-considered manner, or just having unfortunate taste in style… sounds a bit like some jealousy going on there, maybe!
In 2015 the release of the box-office busting "Straight Outta Compton" with its all-star cast of Rap and Hip Hop stars, recounted the rise and fall of the Compton, California Hip-hop group, NWA. Starring Ice Cube, Dr. Dre, Easy E, MC Ren and DJ Yella, this movie took the US Hip hop story to the masses. Dr, Dre released an album inspired from the Movie and it debuted at number two in the US Billboard 200 charts in 2015. The success of the movie and the music album was put down to the fact that so many people were able to relate to the oppression and the music was a way of lashing out, and expressing anger and fury against the authorities.
The success of Rap music continued and grew with popularity, the likes of Wu Tang, Jay-Z, Soulja Boy, Lil' Wayne, etc. became the new icons of Hip- hop and the low slung, loose fitting jeans, along with over sized hoodies were as much a part of the distinctive Hip-Hop look, as the heavy gold jewelry and of course sporting a full set of bling-bling grills.
The Ultimate Dental Jewelry Accessory
A necessity in today's fashion
Grills are the ultimate dental jewelry accessory if you are a hip hop fan. Let's face it, it's impossible to be in the hip hop community and not be familiar with flashy mouth grills. Celebrities on TV and the Internet (and the explosion of selfies) mean that you can see exactly which grillz your favorite celeb is wearing at almost any time of the night or day.
Going by the name of gold grills, gold grillz, gold teeth, gold caps or gold slugs, this fashion accessory didn't become hugely popular until the mid-2000s. However, its been around since the 1980's. Given the trend for celebrities to wear this accessory, (including those who are not rappers like Marilyn Manson, Madonna, Rihanna and even Beyoncé), you can expect that this trend will be around for a long time to come.
Choosing the look of your grill can be a difficult choice, with a huge selection of material, colors and some amazing sparkling stones to add. It really comes down to what you want, and how much you can afford to pay.
Teeth Grillz are usually made from:
• Gold (10K, 14K, 18K or 24K)
• Diamonds, Rubies, Sapphires or any other precious stones
Making your selection from the list above and having your custom made teeth cap to your specification is limited only to your budget. Gold can be tinted to the exact color hue you are looking for. The selection of precious stones to perfect your icy smile means that you can have a totally original, unique set of teeth grills.
The main question is: How big is your budget and how big is that smile?
Your Type of Grillz and How to Choose Your Style
What are the different types of grillz available?
Are Teeth Grills Permanent?
Not all teeth grills are permanent. Grillz are made of many types of metals (often from gold, silver, or platinum) and are generally removable. However, some may opt to have permanent grills that attach to the teeth. It's usually up to the buyer whether they want to go with removable caps or have permanent grillz replacing their natural teeth.
Investing in a set of grillz is a big spend, and there are a few things you should consider before you put your money where your mouth is …
Types of Grillz:
These are the ultimate in commitment to having a pimped up mouth full of bling, and also usually have a matching price tag. Custom molds and unique designs make these the highest end of the price range. The advantage of this particular piece of dental teeth covers means you won't lose them (and given the price tag, that is probably a very good thing)!
Tip: Consult with your local dentist and ask for details on the procedure before deciding to get permanents.
One of the more common, but still on point with bling and dazzle are the instant grills (pre-made or "mall" grillz). These are moldable grill covers which, once molded to your teeth, are instantly wearable and removable. The choice of precious metals is somewhat limited and much less customizable, but they are a great choice if you still want to attract attention and deck out your teeth with a glitzy smile without breaking the bank. The price range for these usually are under $100.
Tip: You usually want to avoid purchasing these for cheap on eBay/Amazon (they can have bad metals), and go with more reputable brands.
Custom gold grillz could be the solution for you when you are looking for something with a perfect fit and a bit of customization. These are a crossover between the "instant" and "permanent" grillz. You are usually required to purchase a molding kit to mold your teeth and send it back to get them made. Once the process is done, you'll receive the grills caps that perfectly fit your teeth. The advantage of this option is that you get the benefit of a great fit, (and these usually stay in place much better than the instant grills), and you can customize the finish to get the look you want. The disadvantage, of course, is that it takes time to mail the molds back and the extra waiting time for them to be produced.
Tip: You'd usually want to go for experienced jewelers who know their craft like TV Johnny or Custom Gold Grillz.
What's the Cost of a Gold Tooth?
How much do grillz really cost?
Since gold caps are just shells, it won't cost as much as a having a permanent gold tooth. Based on the karat of gold that being used, a gold tooth crown or cap can cost anywhere from $100 to $500. Anything else you want to add onto the tooth can cost extra.
For a full grillz set, if money is no object, then you can join the likes of Paul Wall, Snoop Dog, and Beyoncé, (all of whom are reported to have paid tens of thousands of dollars for their grills…) with the most expensive 24K gold grill encrusted in over 160 genuine diamonds reportedly costing a jaw-dropping $152,700!!!
We can appreciate that is probably not for everyone, and the range of much cheaper options means everyone can get in on this fashion trend with some good quality but affordable dental caps. There is a massive range of budget alternatives, meaning you ain't gotta shell out your green, to make that flash bling-bling. Check out some of the reviews we have covered for you to help you find caps that suit your pocket, and give you that perfect, blinged out, street style.
Perfecting The Look
How do you wear grillz? When do you wear them?
Getting the look right without looking like a wannabe means thinking about where you want to be seen wearing your gold teeth… it ain't cool to be buying milk at the thrift store with a swanked-out smile... you gotta know how to rock them!
Just in case you need a few tips on keeping your street cred, here's the best places to wear grillz:
Don't be wearing them grillz when you go to a job interview or visiting your grandma! Unless you are auditioning for a movie or in a music video, chances are your potential new boss ain't gonna wanna see them on, no matter how good you think you look. Your grandma's probably just kick your behind, or slap you upside the head!
Getting the look right is about the whole look from top to toe, not just a pretty mouth! Grillz look best when worn with the right clothing, no suits please. We want casual as they come, and sunglasses are mandatory!
Here's the low down on what to wear grillz with to get the look right:
Pulling the look together means you'll be confident in your swagger amongst the ladies. Keep your look clean, your clothes sharp and your Grillz glistening!
Taking your Impression for Molds
How do you do molds for custom grillz?
The most common way to get your molds done is to visit your local dentist, ask them to take an impression for you to send them off to your grillz producer. If you want to go with a home molding kit, there are plenty of kits to choose from, and almost all of them get the perfect imprint of your teeth. Again, this needs to be sent back to the manufacturer, to get your custom fit grillz. The process shouldn't take more than one to two weeks and then you'll have your brand smile.
If you've ever had molds done at the dentist, then you'll already be familiar with the process. If not then read on for out guide on how to get the best molds of your teeth.
In the supplied kits you'll have impression powder/putty and gum trays. You'll need to mix the putty or powders until it's a clear consistency and place it in the provided trays. Make sure to pay attention to the times set in instructions as you don't want the material to harden before you even take your impression!
Once you have the mixing done, place the material onto the tray. Holding your lip out of the way, gently maneuver the tray to line up with the teeth you want to take the impression of. Next, push the tray firmly up against the teeth and hold it steady for three or five minutes (or however long the instructions tell you). Gently remove the gum tray, without disturbing the impression, and inspect it to ensure you have a good clean mold of your teeth. This usually means having a clear and visible gum line. Repeat the process for the second impression (if required). Safely package the molds and return them to the seller for processing.
Top Grillz Stores Online in 2017
We've done our homework for the best places to buy your gold teeth based on your budget.
The explosion of grillz in fashion jewelry prompted by the likes of Nelly, Snoop Dog, and other celebrity rappers means that everyone wants a piece of the bling bling action.
It's always a good idea to buy the best you can afford, but make an investment in your grillz and don't be tempted to buy cheap. As is too commonly the case, poorer and inferior goods have the potential to damage your teeth and gums permanently as they may contain nickel or lead (which is very harmful and a common allergen). Spend wisely and get a quality product that will provide you with many years of satisfaction.
You can look like any superstar, but just make sure you do your research to find the right product to match your budget, and it'll be a great investment that will have everyone talking about your flashy smile
Budget: < $100
You want to be careful in this price range and don't go too cheap. There has been a large amount of fake grillz on the market from China selling on eBay and Amazon. You never know what kind of metals are being used, so we highly recommend purchasing from reputable brands. For under $100, you'll be looking for the instant pre-made grills that you fit at home. Go for these two brands (similar price ranges):
In this range, you'll be looking at solid gold or silver custom fit removable caps. This usually involves a mold kit and impressions to get the perfect fit for your pull-outs. They could include different designs like open face, deep cuts, diamond cuts, or be iced out with CZs. There are lots of places to get your grill done at, including celebrity jewelers (who usually overcharge a premium) or even your small local shop (make sure to read reviews!). We've done our homework shopping around online looking for brands that didn't jack up their prices as middlemen while also having other great reviews from customers. We found the most reputable seller with many customizable styles if you message them:
If you're willing to drop up to 40k on a grill, you gotta get it from the top celebrity jeweler. Although this guy charges a HUGE premium, he's a name brand in the world of grillz and will make them flawless and has options of icing out with real VVS diamonds. You'll get a smile worth a million bucks, but it'll come at a heavy price tag, so keep that in mind.