What was glimmering in Rosalía's teeth during her SNL debut?

Yasmine Leung March 14, 2022
What was glimmering in Rosalía's teeth during her SNL debut?

Fans noticed that Rosalía had something unusual stuck in her teeth during her SNL performance on 12 March 2022, but what exactly was it?

Spanish singer Rosalía made her SNL debut on 12 March, singing La Fama and Chicken Teriyaki from her new album, Motomami.

Although her voice was incredible, fans were more distracted by her clothing choices. She was dressed in a white coat that, according to viewers, bared resemblance to a comforter and a headscarf that looked like a bath mat, claiming that she was sponsored by Bed Bath & Beyond.

Definitely an interesting look, but perhaps she’s taking the “roll out of bed” look too seriously?

It wasn’t just her outfit that had fans puzzled, Rosalía also looked like she had something shiny stuck in her teeth, but what was it?

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What was in Rosalía’s teeth?

No, she didn’t have food or lipstick stuck in her teeth, as many fans assumed. Turns out, she’s had a butterfly-shaped tooth gem since at least November 2021, though the design was more simplistic and only on one tooth, rather than centred between two.

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The new bling is most likely in reference to Motomami, where the M’s are signified with butterflies on the album cover. One fan claims that the singer is afraid of the insect, so it could be a representation of facing her fears.

What are tooth gems?

Tooth gems are small rhinestones, diamonds, or crystals that are temporarily glued to the enamel of the teeth. It’s purely for aesthetic purposes and they’ve become increasingly popular over the last three years to add some bling to our smiles.

Gems are widely known as the tame offspring of grills, dental jewellery that was popularised by hip hop artists in the 90s. While gems are small and stick onto the tooth, grills are removable covers that lie on top of several teeth and are usually made of metal and decorated with precious gems, like diamonds.

They can cost up to hundreds of thousands of dollars – Lil Wayne’s reportedly splashed $150k on his grill in 2009.

Don’t apply them yourself

If you’re thinking of following the likes of Rosalía and Katy Perry with the trend, do not attempt to DIY tooth gems. According to celebrity tooth gem dentist, Dr Anjali Rajpal, at-home applications are unlikely to be long-lasting and if not applied flush with the tooth, any gaps can become bacterial traps.

TikTok’s The Bentist reminds that while tooth gems are harmless, remember to brush them properly so that bacteria doesn’t get stuck behind them, and to get the glue professionally removed – do not scrape at your teeth!

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Yasmine is a third-year Anthropology and Media student at Goldsmiths University with a new obsession with League of Legends, despite being really bad. She's always on social media keeping on top of the latest news and trends and is HITC’s expert in Korean pop culture. She also loves music, TV and fashion - her favourite things to write about.