One of the many trends to pass through our social media feeds, one of the most harmful trends for your teeth to have come out of the open is teeth filing. Teeth filing is a do-it-yourself method of straightening your teeth using sandpaper or nail files to grind down the teeth and eliminate teeth irregularities. Our main point is to dissuade people from this trend, as dental techniques such as micro-abrasion are specifically performed with experience and care to protect people’s teeth. While micro-abrasion is an effective method of preparing the teeth for restorations, filing down the teeth yourself is a terrible method of correcting your teeth that can do more harm than good.
How Dental Shaving Can Do More Harm Than Good:
Dental shaving with sandpaper or nail files is an unsafe method of straightening your teeth and can be dangerous and harmful to your oral health. Grinding away the enamel of your teeth may be able to get rid of imperfections visually, but once that enamel is removed, it cannot regrow back. Our teeth contain layers, with the enamel layer acting as the protective outside for our dentin and inner pulp. Our enamel works to protect our teeth from bacteria and disease, helps protect our teeth from temperature sensitivity, and works to provide our teeth with the hard surface to bite and chew our food for proper nutrition.
However, once you start filing down your teeth with a nail file, the enamel can be improperly damaged to the point where the dentin and even the inner pulp can become exposed. Over time, this lack of enamel can cause numerous conditions to arise and create poorer dental health overall, including:
- Dentin Hypersensitivity: One of the most obvious symptoms of severe enamel loss is dentin hypersensitivity. This condition exposes the dentin layer, and because of its porous nature, causes pain and discomfort when handling temperatures and sugary sweets.
- Tooth Fractures: Poor enamel can cause an increased risk of dental fractures in accidents and injuries and can lead to microfractures, tooth loss, and impacted teeth.
- Cavities and Tooth Decay: Without the enamel to protect the tooth, bacteria within our mouths gain access to the inside of our teeth and cause decay, which will need restorative treatment to fix.
- Gum Disease and Bone Loss: When bacteria are able to infiltrate our mouths more easily due to the lack of enamel, gum disease can develop along the gum line and cause the bacteria to infest the jawbone and cause jawbone degradation.
If You Want Straighter Teeth, Contact Your Dentist:
If you find yourself unhappy with the state of your smile, visiting your dentist is the best option to keep your teeth as healthy as possible. Under the guidance of your dentist, they can perform safer removals of enamel to prepare for composite resin fillings, crowns, veneers, and other restorative techniques to transform your smile completely and prevent further decay and wear from forming in the first place. So, if you’re considering dental filing, contact your dentist instead for more information.