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TikTok and Teeth Filing: A Look at The Dangers of This Growing Trend

Teeth filing at home? The COVID-19 Pandemic caused an extreme rise in people turning to at-home procedures in order to stay safely in the comfort of their home. One of these at-home procedures became a TikTok trend. TikTok and at-home teeth filing: is it safe? Let’s discuss.


When considering whether or not to file your teeth at home, it's important to consider the benefits, drawbacks, and any health risks.

Filing teeth is known in the dental field as enameloplasty. This process calls for the careful removal of a negligible amount of enamel from the teeth's outer surface. Dentists with the skills and training to use a sanding tool, laser, or other piece of equipment to alter the sides or surface of a patient's teeth do the procedure, which is also known as teeth shaving or recontouring.

Benefits, costs, and risks linked with tooth filing, as well as the newest TikTok trends, will all be covered in this article.

As for the benefits, or explanations for its popularity, teeth contouring:

There are several situations in which improving one's smile by changing its appearance might be a positive move. A few flaws in your smile could be something you'd like to see improved. Your bite may be crooked, your molars may have rough spots, and you may have issues with the length, smoothness, or shape of individual teeth.

Dental filing is a popular method of corrective dentistry for both medical and cosmetic reasons.

Tooth contouring (filing) has various medical benefits, including a decreased incidence of tooth decay due to the elimination of tiny overlaps between teeth. Tooth contouring helps even out your bite, which can prevent or alleviate jaw pain, and is a necessary step in preparing your teeth for a crown (following a root canal).

The cosmetic advantages of teeth filing include a more attractive smile with fewer faults, increased assurance in one's appearance, an inexpensive solution to minor dental repairs or uneven teeth, and a boost in one's confidence.

Several factors, including health and aesthetics, contribute to the widespread practice of tooth filing. You may be a good candidate for this inexpensive smile makeover if you have a single tooth that is significantly larger than the others or is crooked you would consider filing. Getting your teeth whitened by a cosmetic dentist is as easy as snapping a photo and sending it over.

Wondering whether there were any risks along with teeth filing?

To change the shape of a tooth, a dentist will file it down. This technique has a low potential for complications.

Concerns center on the risk of enamel erosion, which can result in tooth damage. The softer dentin layer and the dental nerve are protected by this hard outer layer of the tooth. The protective properties of enamel make it effective in warding off tooth decay and illness, medically known as caries.

Regrettably, this hardworking layer does not naturally regenerate. Once tooth enamel has been gone, it cannot be replaced. It's possible that issues like:

• heightened tooth sensitivity and pain would arise if too much enamel was lost

• teeth that are more prone to breaking;

• an increased risk of developing cavities.

It is crucial that a qualified professional who is familiar with the nature of tooth enamel and its sensitivity to damage perform this sensitive procedure.

It's becoming increasingly common, but potentially dangerous, for people to self-fillet their teeth using a nail file.

Dentists and orthodontists all around the United States are reeling from the current viral craze of DIY teeth filing with nail files. Without proper training, these people attempting filingmight use the wrong files to even out any bumps or irregularities in their teeth, which could have a negative impact on their oral health.

Experts in the dental field are speaking out against the trend on TikTok.

Incorrect tooth filing, according to the American Association of Orthodontists, can permanently alter a person's teeth and smile. Once the enamel that protects your teeth is worn away, you will never be able to get it back.

Without enamel protection, teeth become more vulnerable to sensitivity and even possible extraction. And this is especially true if the tooth was weak to begin with.

Even popular TikTok users have expressed shame at having their teeth shaved in public, pleading with their fans not to follow in their footsteps and become "DIY dentists."

Any time you're thinking of altering the appearance of your teeth, whether for cosmetic or functional reasons, it's a good idea to consult with a dentist first.

Fillings in teeth: frequently asked questions

While considering your options for dental care, you may be wondering if tooth contouring should be a part of your treatment.

Some answers to frequently asked questions about enameloplasty are provided here.

When obtaining braces or clear aligners, why is this surgery done first?

Shaving or otherwise shaping the patient's teeth before placing braces on them or utilizing a clear aligner system like Invisalign for orthodontic purposes is standard practice. In order to provide more space in your mouth for your teeth, your dentist or orthodontist may remove a small amount of enamel from your teeth.

With even a little bit of space to move, your teeth will be able to straighten and align themselves more easily with braces or a clear aligner.

Do you experience any pain during a tooth filling?

To answer your question directly: no. Your dentist won't be touching the sensitive dentin or the gum line while they work on your teeth because there are no nerve endings in the enamel. Also, you usually won't need any form of anaesthetic for filing your teeth, and the danger of side effects is negligible.

What is the going rate for having a tooth filed down?

Thankfully, having your teeth reshaped requires nothing more than your dentist's time, skill, and high-tech tools. This means it's a lot more cost-effective than alternatives, like as installing costly implants or performing extensive surgery, for enhancing one's smile's appearance.

The final cost of tooth contouring will depend on the extent of the necessary treatment and will vary greatly from one dental specialist to the next. Budget an average of $50 to $300 per tooth for dental work.

Does dental insurance pay for fillings?

Most dental insurance plans won't cover the cost of filling cavities unless it's medically essential due to an injury. Find out what policies your insurer offers and whether or not you qualify for coverage by getting in touch with them.

How much of the tooth's enamel is ground down?

teeth filing

Thanks to modern dental technology, your dentist can precisely calculate how much enamel needs to be trimmed off your teeth. Dentists typically remove between 0.2 and 0.5 mm of enamel from each tooth, however the actual amount will vary depending on the patient's goals and the tooth's unique structure.

If you're worried about the extent to which your enamel will be reshaped, it's best to discuss your concerns with your dentist before the operation begins. They'll have the information needed to provide a thorough explanation and make any necessary revisions.

What preventative measures against COVID-19 are required?

Fortunately, because to the evolution of medical practices over time, the dental industry is ready for the pandemic. Having any sort of dental procedure done, from teeth bleaching to tartar removal, tooth contouring, or a fundamental set of x-rays, should put your mind at ease, since there are established protocols in place to guarantee your safety.

If you feel better at peace knowing what specific measures your dentist will take to ensure your health during the pandemic, it may be helpful to discuss this with them in advance. You'll be better equipped to handle whatever comes your way as a result of this.

Hire a specialist to handle the job.

Researching the pros and cons of getting this dental work done, studying before and after pictures of the patient's teeth, and figuring out how much it will cost to have their teeth filed all lead up to the next step: consulting with dental professionals.

A qualified dentist will examine your teeth, explain your options, and rebuild the trouble spots in a way that won't harm your teeth or gums. Due to the severity of the potential consequences, this surgery must be performed under the supervision of an experienced medical expert.

Nationally, dentists acquire the training and instruction they need to do their jobs properly.

You should arrange an appointment with a dentist in your area who is willing to see new patients. You will be able to discuss your concerns, ask questions, and ultimately decide if this procedure is right for you.

Teeth contouring, whether for medical or cosmetic reasons, requires the expertise of a dentist, so don't do it on your own. Even just one trip to the dentist can give you the confidence that comes from knowing your options and how to safely achieve the best possible results.

Avoid the temptation to make changes to your upper or lower teeth on your own; even if you have good intentions, you could easily do permanent damage. Put another way, you may end up needing even more extensive dental work down the road because of the short-term cosmetic goals you've set for yourself.



Dr. Marianne Cohan was voted The Best Dentist/ Dental Office and Best Cosmetic Dentist from The Las Vegas Review-Journal in 2020 and 2021. She received her Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) from the State University of New York at Buffalo in 1992.


With an emphasis on cosmetic dentistry, complete makeovers, and implant dentistry, Dr. Cohan is committed to continuing education and feels that we never stop learning.  Dr. Cohan takes pride in using high-powered magnification to perform minimally invasive restorative dentistry. She uses all the latest technological advances including digital radiography, digital photography, computer simulations, and high-resolution pictures of your proposed treatment on 55-inch screens.  She also utilizes CBCT (cone beam) and laser technology.

Dr. Cohan is always available to her patients and is available for any dental emergency.


851 S Rampart Blvd #230, Las Vegas, NV 89145 | (702) 341-9160
851 S Rampart Blvd #230, Las Vegas, NV 89145 | (702) 341-9160