People on TikTok Are Shaving Down Their Teeth With Nail Files

Dentists are not happy

These are teeth, not nails. Do not use a nail file on them.
Getty Images

TikTok trends come and go, but the latest fad attracting attention on the platform could leave users with permanent dental problems. Why? Because it involves shaving down one’s own teeth with a nail file, a sentence that makes me cringe just writing it.

Apparently, this DIY dental modification is done with the intent of leveling out uneven teeth in the quest for an inexpensively flawless smile. Needless to say, this is an absolutely terrible idea. The trend has dentists in a state of horror, with many speaking out against the viral teeth shaving movement and warning tooth-filers of the permanent damage they could be causing.

“Filing down your teeth will remove the tooth enamel,” Dr. Krystyna Wilczynski, a cosmetic dentist at White & Co Dental, told Dazed. “If you file too much enamel away, you risk tooth sensitivity and even worse, nerve inflammation and irritation, and pain,” she continued, warning that these problems can lead to further complications that may eventually require dental intervention.

Dr. Chad Evans, co-founder of Texas-based Smile Magic Family Dental, has also spoken out against the trend, telling TikTok users they shouldn’t be taking a nail file to their teeth for one very simple, very important reason: teeth are not nails.

“If you file your fingernails today, they’ll grow back tomorrow,” Evans told Insider. “Our teeth are permanent,” and attempting to shave them down yourself with a nail file can cause “irreparable damage and destruction,” he said.

Dentists are also attempting to do damage control on the platform itself, with many taking to TikTok to post PSAs cautioning users against the viral fad.

“A dead tooth means extensive and expensive treatment if you want to keep it,” dental hygienist Iman Zayed said in a TikTok. “Don’t consider doing this, seriously.”

I am not a dentist, nor a dental expert of any kind, but somehow I doubt most people trained in the field imagined this is where they’d be putting their time and expertise. These professionals didn’t undergo years of training just to tell idiots why they shouldn’t be filing their teeth with nail files, so please stop doing this and let the good dentists get back to their regularly scheduled plaque scraping and floss nagging.

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