Kanye West's diamond teeth -- seriously, how do you take care of those things?
Kanye West appeared on Ellen DeGeneres' show Tuesday -- mere hours before he took on Times staffer Chris Lee via Twitter -- to talk about his new film, "Runaway," how he recovered from that messy Taylor Swift incident at the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards and -- his diamond teeth? Talk about putting your money where your mouth is.
"I just thought the diamonds were cooler," Kanye said, explaining the look he's been tweeting about since the summer.
There's a (slightly fuzzy) video of the interaction after the jump. Unfortunately, the photo above doesn't give the new artwork justice. We'd love to show you a better photo of Kanye's new chompers, but we guess his financial advisors have taught him to protect his assests -- he tends to only show his top teeth when he smiles for pictures.
Fashion blog Styleite points out this isn't that out there, considering (A) this is Kanye we're talking about and (B) his teeth were badly damaged in a car wreck in 2002.
And then there are the everyday eating and dental care factors.
"If [this fixture is] permanent, good luck with oral hygiene," says Julien Tudose at Dental Care of La Verne near the Inland Empire. "Chewing is going to be a bit of a challenge. No peanut butter brittle, no opening a can of beer with your teeth. It's going to affect his jaw also because ... the weight of the diamond is greater than a normal tooth structure. If he doesn't have anything on the top [row], it will wear the top part of the teeth faster. In five to seven to 10 years, he’ll have damage on his upper teeth."
Which means we could be revisiting this subject in a few years. Still, Tudose says bejewelled mouth fixtures aren't that unheard of and that he recently put a crown with a diamond on a patient's front tooth.
What do you think of this style? Would you ever try it? Any other dentists out there who'd like to give their thoughts on this in the comments section? We're, um -- champing at the bit to hear from you.
-- Whitney Friedlander
Photo: Kanye West shows off a row of normal, boring everyday teeth at a screening of his short film "Runaway" on Monday. Credit: Chris Pizzello / Associated Press