You probably already know that nail-biting is a bad habit and can be tough to break. But did you know that you can ruin more than just your nails with this habit? According to the Academy of General Dentistry, those who bite their nails could chip, crack, or wear down their front teeth. Patients who wear braces are at a greater risk of experiencing tooth loss or resorption, a shortening of the roots. Additionally, nail-biters are more likely to develop bruxism, which can cause facial pain and headaches, sensitivity in the teeth or gums, recessed gums, and even tooth loss.
Aside from these conditions, nail-biters put themselves at a higher risk for experiencing sore, torn, or damaged gum tissue and spreading nasty germs and bacteria from their nails to their mouth and into their bloodstream. Gross!
The good news is that even if you’re a habitual nail-biter, you can stop once and for all. Here are 5 ways to help you stop nail-biting!
Keep Your Nails Trimmed – When you have longer nails, you may be more tempted to nibble on them. Make it a point to trim your nails more frequently and keep them short, neat, and tidy. You’ll be less likely to bite them!
Use Nail Polish – An easy way to discourage yourself from biting your nails is by wearing nail polish. If you’re not deterred by regular nail polish, don’t worry. You can purchase bitter-tasting nail polish over-the-counter. It’s safe but tastes terrible, which can help you curb your nail-biting habit!
Get Manicures Regularly – When you spend time and money making your nails look beautiful, you are less prone to biting them. You heard it from Foley Dental Group – go treat yourself to a manicure more frequently if you have a tendency to bite your nails. Your teeth (and nails) will thank you!
Determine Your Triggers – It’s important to know what makes you bite your nails. Maybe you really hate seeing hangnails on your fingers, or perhaps you find yourself biting your nails when you feel bored, anxious, or stressed. Whatever causes you to bite your nails, finding the trigger is half the battle.
Replace It With a Positive Habit – Whenever you get the urge to bite your nails, busy your hands with something else. Squeeze a stress ball, sketch something in your notebook, or pet your dog. Do something with your hands to keep your fingers out of your mouth.
We hope that these tips help you kick the nail-biting habit for good! Don’t forget to come in for your semi-annual cleaning and exam. Request your appointment with us by calling (618) 288-9670 or by visiting us online at www.foleydentalgroup.com!