Dentists would like TikTok influencers to stop filing their teeth down, thanks

drshaadimanouchehri / TikTok

TikTok has made some really important contributions to society. The Savage dance challenge helped a lot of people get through early pandemic days. Unfortunately, not all influences are created equal, and some of them are telling people to file their teeth. I wish I was making that up, but I’m not. Surprise: Dentists say that this TikTok-inspired tooth shaving is not good for you.

Here’s the whole mess, in case you haven’t heard: Certain TikTok influencers have been posting about how they are filing their teeth into pegs so they can be fit for veneers. At home. With nail files. First they post a before pic of their creepy DIY stump teeth and then an after pic with veneers done by dentists that give them perfect smiles. Dentists are unamused by this trend and some of them are starting to speak out.

"These are not veneer preparations,” Emi Mawson, a dentist in the English county of Cornwall, said on TikTok, reported Insider. “These are crown preparations and there's a big difference." Yes, both veneers and crowns are dental procedures that can make your teeth better, but there are important differences between them.

Veneers cover just the front of your tooth and are usually recommended for cosmetic reasons, like discoloration. Crowns cover the whole tooth, and they are used cosmetically for 1% types, most dentists don’t recommend them unless you, say, have a mouth full of rotted teeth due to an extended crystal meth binge and can’t properly chew your food. You do have to have your teeth — professionally — filed to have crowns put on, you don’t need to do this for veneers.

But some TikTok influencers aren’t being clear about the difference between veneers and crowns and the tooth filing trend they’re starting is, frankly, terrifying. "Once your teeth are down to stumps, there's no going back," Mawson said. Once a person commits to veneers or crowns, their OG teeth are gone and because neither procedure is actually permanent, they will probably have to be replaced every 10-15 years, Insider reported.

Not only is getting all that dental work invasive, it’s also prohibitively expensive. “That's gonna be like $20,000 every 10 years, not to mention when you get a cavity,” Ben Winters, an Arkansas orthodontist, said in a TikTok.