Social media trends come and go, but mostly all of them are dumb at best and downright dangerous at worst. The latest one to crop up on TikTok is seeing people use nail files to shape their crooked teeth, much to the horror of dentists and people with common sense everywhere. It all started with cosmeticians showing off the “procedure” on the platform and has only grown since then.
- This is a terrible, terrible idea. As if this wasn’t terribly obvious, nail files are not meant for teeth and using them for teeth is extremely ill-advised. “You’re doing irreparable damage and destruction to your teeth,” Dr. Chad Evans, co-founder of Texas-based Smile Magic Family Dental, told Insider.
- Dentists use professional equipment for this. Reshaping crooked teeth is called enameloplasty and involves removing tooth enamel in order to subtly change the shape of an affected tooth. However, this is something a professionally trained dentist with professional equipment should be doing, not some rando on TikTok.
- You could cause severe damage to your teeth by doing this. Dentists warn that using nail files on your teeth for some at-home dentistry could lead to your teeth becoming hypersensitive or even dying out/decaying. In one video, a woman files down two teeth to match a chipped one in her mouth. “Essentially, what she’s doing is she’s shortening the lifespan of her teeth,” Evans explained. “They are now compromised, and it’s just a matter of time before she starts developing serious issues.”
- Please don’t do this at home. Dental professionals are now taking to social media themselves to warn people not to try this stupid trend at home. “You need to know specifics before you can do stuff like this,” said orthodontist Benjamin Winters in an Instagram post. “You can’t do this by yourself.” He advised people wanting to reshape their teeth to seek professional help.