WATCH | Cringe! TikTok users are 'fixing' their teeth with a nail file

22 September 2020 - 05:30
By Unathi Nkanjeni
TikTok users are reshaping and evening out their teeth using a nail file. File photo.
Image: 123RF / rido TikTok users are reshaping and evening out their teeth using a nail file. File photo.

TikTok's latest trend is cringeworthy and dentists have warned against it. 

The trend sees TikTok users reshaping and evening out their teeth using a nail file. 

“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,” one TikTok user can be heard saying, before using a nail file on her teeth in the video.

The video sparked a global trend using the hashtag #Nailfile, and dentists on the platform have been speaking out against the practice as they react to it and attempt to debunk the videos. 

Dentists have expressed concern, calling the process unsafe and warning that it could cause extreme damage rather than "fix" teeth. 

US dentist Dr Benjamin Winters, took to Instagram to film a public service announcement, recommending against people filing down their teeth. 

“Don’t get mad at me when your teeth are more sensitive than a two-year-old crying over spilt milk,” he said. 

“You need to know specifics before you can do stuff like this. You can’t do this by yourself.” 

Winters, who goes by “TheBentist” online, advised that people leave the operation to an expert who knows “exactly how much enamel to take off to be healthy for the teeth”.

Another dentist, Dr Suhail Mohiuddin, urged his followers to question why their teeth are uneven in the first place, saying it's a problem that won't be solved by filing. 

"When my patients ask me why their teeth are uneven, I tell them that lower teeth are crowded and this causes an even contact with the upper teeth," he said.

“OK, you file them and they look pretty good - 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?” he asks. 

In the TikTok community guidelines, the company stated that they condemn content that encourages, promotes or glorifies dangerous or could cause harm that could lead to injury.

"We do not allow dangerous individuals or organisations to use our platform to promote terrorism, crime or other types of behaviour that could cause harm. When there is a credible threat to public safety, we handle the issue by banning the account and cooperating with relevant legal authorities," said the company.