How to file down your teeth by yourself?

Filing down some of the teeth can prevent you from multiple complications inside your mouth. You can file down your teeth at home by yourself but it’s not recommended as you aren’t expert in this which can lead to serious problems for your teeth.

You should see your dentist for filing down the teeth. Dentist can do the process with proper precautions and specific instruments. At home, you can damage the enamel on your teeth which can lead to some serious pain in future.

There are multiple methods for you to file down your teeth. 

1. With Nail File

2. Emery Board

3. Dental Abrasive instruments by a Dentist

1.With A Nail File

You should keep in mind that nail file can cause a lot problems including damage to your teeth which can lead to sensitive, caries and brittleness of teeth. Other than this, you can’t sterilise your nail file at home. So, using unsterilised nail file could grow bacteria inside oral cavity to cause infection.

Here some steps to follow for filing down your teeth with a nail file.

Find a nail file at your home:

Find a nail file at your home or buy it online. You can use a rough nail file which can abrade your teeth easily with little force but you have to be careful with rough one. 

How to use nail file:

Hold the nail file horizontally against the teeth you want to file down. Make sure the visibility of nail file and teeth by standing in front of the mirror. Use horizontal force back and forth against the teeth. Stop after every two motions and observe how much have you file down the teeth. 

Do it slowly.

If the teeth was in pain before filing down, don’t do the procedure. During filing down, pain can occurs abruptly. If there is slight pain or sensitivity, stop the whole procedure.

If pain occurs during the procedure:

Stop the procedure, if you feel any sensitivity or pain on the teeth. There are chances, you’ve caused damage to enamel on your teeth. Use wax over the teeth and take pain reliever medicines until you see your dentist. Don’t delay to visit your dentist. 

Enamel damage can lead to sensitivity, caries, brittleness of teeth, pigmentation, dentin exposure. So visit your dentist immediately to save your teeth and yourself from some serious pain.

Pain Relievers:





2. Emery Board 

Emery Board 

Emery board can be used to file down your teeth. It can be bought online or at any medical store, or daily routine care store. Make sure it’s non metal as metal can cause serious damage to teeth. Use of emery board is quite similar to nail file.

Once again, if you find anything disturbing during the procedure or after the procedure, don’t use it anymore. The most important protection of teeth is enamel layer and it’s abrasion can cause some serious pain and complications in future.

So always consult your dentist before doing these kind of procedures. You can’t afford to lose your natural teeth. Once caries got into the deeper layers, treatment options will become more difficult to handle. 

3. Visit your Dentist:

That’s the one, you should do. Always consult your dentist if you have any issues regarding teeth. Specialist always knows better than you and they obviously are better in doing procedures than you. 

Search for a dentist in your neighbourhood or see online. Make an appointment. 

Make an appointment:

Make an early appointment if your teeth are in pain or you’ve caused some damage to your teeth during filing down by yourself at home. Dentist will diagnose the problem. Your teeth might get chipped off or need enamel countering. 

A good dentist will always explain the procedure to you. If your teeth has some uneven surface and need some contouring, a dentist will explain how he’ll do the teeth shaping. 

These are the things you’ll learn after you’ll see your dentist.

What is Teeth Filing?

Teeth filing is called also enamloplasty where excessive enamel is shaved off from the tooth surface to make smile more aesthetically pleasing. Every teeth has different steps to follow when doing enameloplasty. 

Is it painful?

Filing down your teeth isn’t painful at all. It just requires half an hour to one hour depending upon the teeth and it’s situation. Dentist will observe the teeth firstly and if he noticed that enamel layer is less, then there are chances he’ll recommend veneers or crowns instead of filing.

Sometime, a patient came to dentist with severe pain after he’s done filing at home. In that case, the enamel layer has already been abraded from teeth by patient so that could cause some pain. Dentist will not do more filing instead he’ll recommend some other procedures.

Is there any complications after this procedure?

It depends upon the tooth situation. Enamel layer on the tooth is the most important one for protection of teeth from sensitivity, caries and lot of other complications. Once, it’s got damaged, enamel can’t grow back. 

Dentist will always do filing very efficiently and carefully so that enamel remain unharmed. Otherwise, following complications can happen after the procedure.Caries

1. Sensitivity 

2. Dentinal Caries

3. Brittleness 

4. Yellow teethYellow teeth

Is it cheaper than other treatment options like Veneers?

Filing down is lot cheaper than Veneers and bonding stuff. As filing is done without use of any dental material. It’s just the instruments used to shave some of the enamel from your teeth. A rough estimate will be 50$ to 250$ per tooth.Veneers

Veneers on other hand costs more than 500$ per tooth. So, it’s clear that filing down is lot cheaper than Veneers but later is more advantageous than filing down. There are lesser complications in Veneers than enameloplasty. 

Is there any alternative to filing?

Yes, Dental Veneers and bonding are two better alternatives to filing of teeth. Veneers are most commonly used these days. It’s not about shaving teeth in Veneers rather adding a layer on teeth. There will be no chances for sensitivity, yellow colouration of teeth in Veneers.

But Veneers are quite expensive compared to filing of teeth. You should’ve gone for Veneers always unless you need immersion treatment to your teeth for aesthetic concerns. 

How Dentist will do filing?Burs used in dentistry

Dentist can do filing far better than you because of two main reasons. First, he is expert in his field which means he knows stuff related to teeth far more than you. Second, a dentist has right choice of instruments to use for shaving some part of teeth.

Dentist can use sanding tools or laser to remove enamel from your teeth. Other than these, dentist has a lot more options of instruments to do the procedure. He can use different type of burs like finishing bur, egg shaped bur.

Some of those burs have slight diamond coating on their surfaces. So that cutting can be done easily without any force. Operator will not drill your teeth rather he’ll use sliding force against the tooth surface so that only a thin layer of excessive enamel is removed.

There might be some chances, your enamel is already thin and during procedure, you felt sensitivity or pain due to bur or disc, operator’s using. So tell your operator that you’re feeling uncomfortable during the procedure. Don’t bear the pain or sensitivity.

The sensitivity or pain might be the cause of over-shaving of teeth surface which means dentin has got exposed. Dentin is the second layer beneath the Enamel. Dentin exposure can be dangerous in many ways as it can lead to long term pain, dentin caries, root caries.

If dentin has been exposed there is no option other than crown to save your teeth for longer period of time. Crowns are widely used these days by dentists because of it’s long term use and aesthetic reasons.

Why need filing of sharp teeth?

Sharp tooth can lead to some serious trouble inside your oral cavity. Firstly, patient always came to a dentist with presenting complaint of pain or ulcer on his tongue or mucosa because of that sharp tooth which is causing constant irritation.

Sharp tooth can lead to oral cancer:

It’s been studied after years of practice by specialists that sharp tooth can lead to oral cancer. Unhealed ulcers are caused by sharp tooth which cause metaplasia on the mucosa or any other surface inside of the oral cavity. 

Foods to avoid after filing down:

Hot, cold and acidic foods must be avoided after filing down as they can cause sensitivity and pain on tooth surface. Especially, acidic carbonated stuff like coke, soda which can cause caries in short time as teeth are already prone to caries. 

Other foods to avoid:

Ice cream

Red wine





Pickled products 

Foods to eat after filing down:

Dairy products 

Fruits and vegetables with fiber

Vitamins and minerals containing nuts

How to stop teeth from sensitivity after filing down:

Sometimes, after filing down teeth might get sensitive because of enamel layer as described in detail above. Teeth will feel sensitivity and pain sometimes after heating cold, hot and especially acidic food like soda and carbonated drinks.

To treat this, make an appointment to your dentist. He’ll recommend you fluoride treatment, dietary changes, brushing techniques and some other dental procedures like crowns, veneers. Fluoride treatment is best in preventing dental caries and sensitivity. 

If sensitivity didn’t end after fluoride treatment, the only way your teeth could be saved is by crowns or veneers. Firstly, your dentist will scan your teeth by taking X-ray to see and confirm that there is no caries involved in this scenario.

If there is caries involved, your dentist will do restoration or RCT( root canal therapy) depending upon the extent of caries. Otherwise, he’ll do crowns or veneers. Crowns are the best option if you want long term care of your teeth.Crown

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