Pseudo beauty hacks like hair coloring, nail art, and even homemade products for the bathroom are not something new to the TikTok universe, but a shocking new body disfigurement trend is having dentists facepalm themselves.
People are now actually grinding their teeth down using nail files and sharing the results on TikTok.
In an interview with the Insider, Co-founder of Texas-based Smile Magic Family Dental, Dr. Chad said he found out about the trend from his colleagues. And as the father of two girls, the doctor said he is extremely worried.
“It’s not the same as filing your fingernails. If you file your fingernails today, they’ll grow back tomorrow,” Evans said. “Our teeth are permanent.”
Teeth consist of layers, and the outer layer, also known as the enamel, is the most robust and most crucial layer according to the doctor as it shields our teeth from decay.
“The moment that you remove tooth structure, if you don’t know what you’re doing, you’re doing irreparable damage and destruction to your teeth,” Evans said.
Medical experts who are aware of the anatomy of teeth can file down teeth without harming them.
In some instances, dentists might even add structure to your teeth with a veneer or crown. And that is definitely a better way to do it than destroying your enamel.
“There was one in particular where a gal had a chipped tooth, so she filed down the front two teeth to match the length of the chip,” Dr. Evans said. “Essentially, what she’s doing is she’s shortening the lifespan of her teeth. They are now compromised and it’s just a matter of time before she starts developing serious issues.”
As the thoughtless trend went viral on TikTok, dental experts with many followers tried to reach out to people by debunking the videos.
Dr. Suhail Mohiuddin (username @dr.m_, shared his thoughts on a video of someone grinding their teeth using a nail file and urged people to ask what caused their teeth to be uneven in the first place. Filing, even when done by experts, does nothing if the root cause is not addressed.
“Ok, you file them, and they look pretty but you didn’t solve the original problem, so what are you going to do in a few years when they’re uneven again and your teeth are shorter?” Mohiuddin said.
“A dead tooth means extensive and expensive treatment if you want to keep it,” dental hygienist Iman Zayed said in the video. “Don’t consider doing this, seriously.”
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