Nowadays, we're all trying to save money--especially when it comes to any kind of medical care.
But some things you just need to leave to the professionals. For instance please, for the love of everything holy, do not file your teeth down with a nail file!
That is the message being sent by—well, by common sense, but also by Arkansas orthodontist and influencer Dr. Benjamin Winters, after he stumbled on a new TikTok trend where people are engaging in at-home dentistry.
In short, says Dr. Winters:
Please, for the love of God, DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME.
Waters' impassioned plea to not use a manicurist's tool for a doctor's job comes amid a ton of cringe-inducing TikTok videos like this one, in which a young woman does a little DIY repair to her grooved teeth.
Congrats on the smoothed-down grooves and all, but according to Dr. Winters this is, like, a uniquely terrible idea.
He recently spoke with BuzzFeed News about why.
When he first stumbled on this trend, Winters says he was shocked.
"As an orthodontist, you know the healthy limits of enamel and tooth removal...and shaving off your tooth is something you'll never get back!"
And aside from anything you do to your teeth being permanent, Winters explained that you might just take things too far and put yourself in real pain.
"Everyone only has a certain amount of enamel that can be removed before you reach your dentin layer and the nerve/pulp. Filing too far can cause serious pain, nerve damage, and increased sensitivity."
"Not only that, but you're permanently altering your teeth. which [sic] can affect the look and the way you bite."
So what should you do if your teeth need filing down.
Firstly, Dr. Winters says, oftentimes what people think can be fixed with filing actually requires orthodontia.
But if filing is the fix you need, dentists and orthodontists have special tools for getting the job done in a way that isn't going to sheer off all your tooth enamel and leave you wincing in agony. Sounds like a win!
But regardless of the solution needed, at-home remedies are simply not safe, according to Winters.
"My first responsibility is to keep my patients and the general public safe. And, unfortunately, as quick and easy as it seems, grinding your own tooth structure off — especially without guidance — is the opposite of that!"
And judging from the reactions to his TikTok video, a lot of people have gotten the message.
So there you have it. Quite literally do not try this at home.
Take it from Dr. Winters—when it comes to teeth:
"You only get one set!"