This Orthodontist Explained Why The TikTok Trend Of Filing Your Teeth With A Nail File Is A Bad Idea

This Orthodontist Explained Why The TikTok Trend Of Filing Your Teeth With A Nail File Is A Bad Idea

Updated 4 minutes ago. Posted 27 minutes ago

“Filing too far can cause serious pain, nerve damage, and increased sensitivity,” said Dr. Benjamin Winters.

There’s been a recent trend on TikTok where people shave their teeth down with nail files in an attempt to save money on dental work:

However, when orthodontist Dr. Benjamin Winters came across some of these videos, he quickly made a PSA:

Dr. Winters (who goes by The Bentist on social media) has been practicing in Arkansas for three years and is opening his own clinic in Dallas next year. BuzzFeed spoke to him to get more information about why filing your teeth on your own is not recommended.

When Dr. Winters first saw the videos, he said it was shocking to see. “As an orthodontist, you know the healthy limits of enamel and tooth removal…and shaving off your tooth is something you’ll never get back! I feel like it’s my obligation as an influencer and health professional to help kids and adults on the app. I want to help prevent anyone from doing something irreversible to themselves just because it looks cool online!”

So, let’s talk about the consequences of what could happen if you decided to try this. “Everyone only has a certain amount of enamel that can be removed before you reach your Dentin layer and the nerve/pulp. Filing too far can cause serious pain, nerve damage, and increased sensitivity. Not only that, but you’re permanently altering your teeth. which can affect the look and the way you bite,” explained Dr. Winters.

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If you’re unhappy with the way your teeth look, Dr. Winters said you should always go to a dental professional for advice. “Most of the time, the teeth need to be moved and not actually shaved off. If necessary, however, we can use certain abrasive strips or discs and measure the exact amount that can be taken off in a safe manner,” he said.

Benjamin Winters

There are also safer ways to achieve a certain look other than filing down your teeth professionally. He said, “You can get braces or Invisalign to move your teeth to make them straight or you can build up other teeth to make them look straight as well. Both of these options don’t harm you.”

Lastly, Dr. Winters said to remember that “quick fixes” are rarely worth it. “I see people every day who regret trying to take shortcuts with their teeth. You only get one set! You don’t really realize how important they are until they’re gone, and then you’ll wish that you would have done everything you could have to take care of them! My first responsibility is to keep my patients and the general public safe. And, unfortunately, as quick and easy as it seems, grinding your own tooth structure off — especially without guidance — is the opposite of that!”

Benjamin Winters

So, in short, do not try this trend!!!


If you want to learn more about orthodontia and dental information in general, you can follow Dr. Winters on TikTok, Instagram, and YouTube.

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