Biting Nails 01

The Harms of Nail Biting | Tips to Eliminate the Habit

Posted In: Oral Health
Posted On: January 20, 2022

Nail biting is an easy habit to start that might go unnoticed, but it gets harder to stop the longer you do it! Clean hands and clean nails are a critical base point to many of the health goals that you want to achieve. Now more than ever, your mental and physical health should at the top of your priority list. Here are a few ways that nail biting can be harmful to your overall oral health and tips to end the habit for good!

Why Is It Harmful?

The bacteria under your nails can include chemicals, dirt, hazardous food materials, and so much more. When biting, there is a large amount of stress placed on the mouth and on the nail bed. As a result, worn tooth enamel and damaged gums can occur. Biting your nails can also lead to other issues, such as:

  • Pain in the Jaw.
  • Bad breath developed from bacteria.
  • Teeth becoming misaligned or grinding.

Easy Tips to End Nail Biting

Anxiety and stress are two leading causes of the habit developing in most people. Nail biting can become a long term coping mechanism for relief and be a thoughtless fidget activity to occupy boredom. Here are a few tips to put a stop to nail biting.

  • Keep nails trimmed shorter to reduce the ability for biting.
  • Utilizing other instruments or toys to occupy the hands when experiencing times of stress and anxiety.
  • Getting involved in other activities involving hands-on creativity or exercise to curve boredom.
  • Chewing gum or other mouth engaging snacks will keep the mind and mouth muscles busy.
  • It is recommended to try covering the nails with items such as tape or applying bitter nail polish to deter nail biting activity. Here is one example of a specially formulated nail polish!

The daily routines and habits of people all over have been drastically effected and forever changed in today’s current events. Starting with small changes is the key to successfully putting your oral health at the center of a healthy lifestyle. For more information on oral health, visit the other resources available on the Fry Orthodontics website!