Connor McCallum

TikTok’s Latest Trend Involves Straightening Your Own Teeth, Dentists Revolt

(Photo by Rafael Rocha on Unsplash)

The latest trend on TikTok involves a spot of DIY work on your own teeth. Dentists respond by warning everyone against doing this.

 

TikTok has proven itself a fertile breeding ground for many a bizarre trend—from dipping testicles in soy sauce, to snorting salt, and even eating pregnancy tests—TikTok users have come up with many ways to keep themselves stimulated during social isolation. The latest trend is no less bizarre but also veers into the danger zone. TikTok users are racking up tens of thousands of views “straightening” their teeth using nail files, and it has dentists worried.

Plenty of videos have emerged on the app where users try to file their teeth down to an even length. For example, user MiaDio posted a video with the caption, “I’m going to file my teeth down with a nail file because they’re not perfect. I have some ridges, and we’re balling on a budget.” The technique does appear to have squared the height of her teeth, but at what cost?

Dental professionals from all over the internet were quick to respond, urging anyone considering this self-treatment to sit this one out. “Don’t do this!!! It can cause sensitivity if not properly done, I’m a dental assistant trust me,” one user wrote.

Kami Hoss, D.D.S., CEO of The Super Dentists, told Refinery29 that this “trend” will result in a slew of long-term problems. “You only get one set of adult teeth to last you a lifetime,” says Dr. Hoss. “If you mess up cutting your own hair, it’ll grow back in a few weeks, but your tooth structure will be gone forever, and the potential damage you may cause will not be reversible.”

 

“If you just randomly file down one tooth, the gum lines will never line up, and you’ve made that tooth permanently shorter,” Dr. Hoss explains. “Many of these damages are irreversible and cannot be easily fixed in the future by a dentist.” 

 

It may seem harmless, but swiping such material across your teeth could permanently damage your smile.

“The enamel on the surface of teeth is very thin and, once it’s filed down, will never grow back,” he explains. “Without the proper thickness of enamel protecting your teeth, your teeth may end up with sensitivity or pain, they will become more prone to cavities, and they will lose their luster and white color.”

Additionally, Dr. Hoss warns that if you file deep enough into the tooth’s next layer, you might also experience yellowing. If you aren’t happy with your teeth alignment, Dr. Hoss recommends seeing an experienced orthodontist to realign your smile with minimal damage.

“If you just randomly file down one tooth, the gum lines will never line up, and you’ve made that tooth permanently shorter,” Dr. Hoss explains. “Many of these damages are irreversible and cannot be easily fixed in the future by a dentist.”

Dental work is notoriously costly—but so are the expenses that will incur from permanently damaging the only adult teeth you’ll ever have after partaking in the latest TikTok “trend.”

 

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