Don’t File Down Your Teeth!!!

A few words of warning to anyone considering this TikTok posted suggestion

Damaged toothSometimes, even those dentists that have been in practice for a long time are taken by surprise. We have seen people try to whiten teeth by brushing with bleach or pulling teeth out with pliers and even trying to straighten teeth with elastic bands.

A recent post on TikTok which has gone viral though, still had the ability to shock us at the sheer foolishness of it.

In the search for ‘perfection’ one user decided to file their teeth down with a nail file in order to ‘get rid of some ridges’ and because she was on a budget. This post has now been viewed over half a million times and the law of averages suggests that some people at least will now have damaged teeth because of it.

The golden rule for anyone who sees this type of post is don’t do it, or at the very least, ask one of our Chelmsford dental team who will be able to offer their professional advice.

Why not file your teeth?

We appreciate that not everyone understands the complexity of a tooth’s structure. To many people, a tooth is simply a solid block of something hard and they are only reminded that it is not when they have a bad toothache. Although the exterior of a tooth is made from enamel; within it are softer materials such as dentin and the dental pulp which includes nerves and tiny blood vessels. Whilst the enamel is strong, any damage to it, whether from an accident or even enamel erosion, increases the risk of further damage in addition to decay and root canal infections.

The most likely side effect that anyone doing this will soon discover is sharp discomfort when they eat or drink anything hot or cold. This is because the filing down of the enamel will have made your teeth more sensitive. This isn’t easily reversed and, whilst we can restore your teeth, it makes sense not to deliberately need to have this done!

The damage probably won’t stop there though. The thinner or damaged enamel from filing means that bacteria may now be able to enter into the dentin part of the tooth. Not only is this a softer material that can decay more easily, but also consists of hollow tubules which allow messages, including pain, to be sent to the brain. As anyone who has a severe toothache will attest, this is best avoided!

In short, please, please do not attempt to do anything with your teeth other than brush and floss them. Leave restorations and cosmetic improvements to the dentists at Blue Sky Dental who have had many years of training and experience at doing so and will not only do all they can to improve your teeth, but will also do so safely and with the minimum of discomfort.

Cosmetic dentistry

The case mentioned above is worth looking at from the perspective of a cosmetic dentist. What could they do to help in this situation?

The girl who filed her teeth complained of having ‘ridges’ and also wanted to avoid the expense of having it professionally treated. So, what would a dentist do differently?

It is possible for minor changes to be made to a tooth by filing it down a little but great care has to be taken if this is done. You would probably need to have the tooth x-rayed to determine how much enamel was available. Even with a good amount, any filing would be very minimal and probably only done to remove a tiny sharp edge.

If you are really concerned about your teeth not being even, then one option would be to look at the possibility of correcting this through the use of porcelain teeth veneers. This is a good long term option that should last for around 10 years and will also protect the tooth as well. Patients should remember that once this procedure has taken place, you will likley need veneers for the rest of your life as it usually involves the removal of a small amount of enamel so that the veneers can be placed in a way that makes the teeth look natural.

As far as expense goes, we do appreciate that some people may be struggling financially at this time. With this in mind, if you are considering having a cosmetic dental treatment, please do ask us about our finance plans. These allow you to spread the cost of a treatment over a longer period of time at no or low interest rates.

If you live in the Chelmsford area and would like to see how we can help you have a more attractive smile, why not arrange to have a free non clinical consultation at Blue Sky Dental by calling us on 01245 211070.

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