Dentists advise against participating in TikTok teeth filing challenge


BOSTON (NewsNation Now) — There are some TikTok challenges that are raising health concerns, and the latest one involves people filing down their own teeth.

In a TikTok video sent to NewsNation, you can see a teenage girl using a nail file to alter the appearance of her teeth.

“It’s been a strange year. We’ve been in quarantine. We are seeing people do things, DIY in quarantine, like now visits to salons to fix our DIY haircuts, but when it comes to altering our teeth, I absolutely don’t recommend that,” said Dr. Brittany Seymour.

Seymour is the global health discipline director and an associate professor at Harvard School of Dental Medicine

“No, don’t file your beautiful teeth!” said Seymour. “If we file the enamel — the protective layer of our teeth — that doesn’t grow back. That is irreversible and that can lead to permanent damage. First, it can cause sensitivity, so imagine having permanent brain freeze anytime you’re drinking something cold, or it can actually lead to higher risk for getting cavities.”

She told NewsNation it may be a small thing to be doing but it can cause a domino effect of harm to our oral health.

“Because you have removed that protective layer of enamel and also if you think about changing the shape of your teeth, that can alter your bite, which can impact our jaws and cause headaches,” she said.

The FDA is once again reminding people to not take part in the Benadryl challenge as well. That challenge involves taking several doses of the over-the-counter drug in order to produce a high along with hallucinations. Officials with the department reported several cases of people getting sick, including the death of an Oklahoma teen.

An active ingredient in Benadryl can be toxic, if taken in high doses.

The FDA is now calling on TikTok to remove any videos related to the potentially deadly social media challenge.

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