By FIONA STORY- February 21-2003

European tooth jewelry starting to bite in Canadian markets

Who ever thought soldering fake gems to your teeth would become the next fad to ravage the world of body art. Tooth jewelry is the trend of choice among young and hip Europeans, and in the last month it's been slowly making its way into Canadian markets.

Last week, strolling past Sweet Seduction Lingerie on Bank St., which harbours the former Classic Body Piercing-now known as Classic Creations-I noticed a poster slapped on the window bearing a picture of a sparkling gem-studded smile. Apparently sticking a fake diamond on a tooth will grant the bearer the twinkling grin seen only in cartoons. Forget toothpaste. Diamonds are yellow teeth's best friend.
Ian Wright, Classic Creations body artist, says tooth jewelry is still relatively unknown in Canada. He started offering the service two months ago and is one of only a handful of artists doing it in Canada. As awareness of tooth jewelry grows, so does the demand. Classic Creations has customers driving in from all over Ontario to have their teeth done. The clientele is extremely diverse, ranging in ages from preteens to senior citizens. "People love it. It's temporary, non-invasive and painless," says Wright. Both fake and real stones are available and come in three sizes-small, medium and large-accommodating everything from the baby to buck teeth.

Oddly enough, tooth jewelry isn't a new idea. According to a US-based manufacturer, it was patented back in 1986 by a European dentist in response to a Swedish singer's demand to put a diamond in her tooth. In the last year, it's been developing into mainstream body art. After five years of braces, I have a phobia with dentists and objects being glued to my teeth. But if having a gold star, clover or flower stuck on your teeth is your bag, then tooth jewelry is a step in the right direction. With celebrities like rappers Ol' Dirty Bastard and Ludacris heading up the tooth jewelry bandwagon, it's only a matter of time before everyone's got the telltale twinkle in their smile. Well, I suppose a diamond flashing in your teeth is better than supper's leftovers.


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