Dentists are hitting out against a dangerous new trend on TikTok, in which people grind down their uneven teeth with nail files.
Several influencers have taken to the popular social media app in recent months to share videos of themselves partaking in the dangerous practice.
But while the TikTok stars proclaim that the simple hack helps make their smiles more symmetrical, professionals say it can cause permanent damage to a person’s teeth.
Dentists say the influencers are filing away at enamel, which ultimately destroys the structure of a tooth.
Enamel – which cannot be restored – is the outer layer of a tooth that protects against the effect of harsh dietary acids. A lack of enamel can cause extreme sensitivity, and eventually lead to tooth 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,’ Texas-based dentist Dr. Chad Evans told Business Insider.
Back in June, TikTok starlet Mia Dio was one of the first influencers to share a video of herself shaving down her teeth, with her video receiving more than 50,000 ‘likes’.
‘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 … trigger warning,’ she tells her fans being brandishing a nail file.
‘It’s literally working!’ she subsequently gushed.
Many of her impressionable fans left comments, including: ‘I’ve thought about doing this so many times. Omg they look good!’
Another cooed: ‘Did this last week! It def works!
But professionals have used TikTok to hit back, and get the message out to users that the practice is dangerous.
Detroit dentist Dr Z. Mackie uploaded her own video explaining why users should avoid putting a nail file anywhere near their mouths.
‘Shaving your teeth down with a nail filer is no good… it can cause major sensitivity,’ she states.
‘If you shave too much off, you might need a filling or a crown,’ Mackie additionally states, adding that those procedures can be quite costly.