Biting your nails can be a habit that is hard to break! Nail-biting leaves your nail beds and fingertips to be red, painful, and swollen, but it’s also a habit that can damage your oral health. The Academy of General Dentistry has also found that people who bite their nails are more likely to suffer from bruxism, which is the grinding of the teeth and the clenching of the jaws during sleep. Bruxism can cause gum recession, headaches, tooth sensitivity, and tooth loss.
Tips for Kicking the Nail-Biting Habit
Nail-biting can be the result of stress and anxiety and you should do all you can to cure it! Below are a few things you can do to overcome your nail-biting habit:
Keep your nails trimmed – If your nails are kept too short to bite, you’ll have no choice to abstain. Short nails allow you to avoid temptation.
Wear nail polish – Nail polish has a bitter taste, which can deter you from biting them. This alone can be enough to help you quit. Use clear nail polish if you need to!
Relieve stress if possible – We know that easing stress is easier said than done. Try deep breathing, meditation, or using a fidget spinner or a stress ball.
Know your triggers – Nail-biting can be triggered by stressful situations. Be aware of what situations make you want to bite your nails and then try to avoid them.
Wear bandages or gloves – If all else fails, you can use gloves or bandages to help you avoid biting your nails.
No matter the reason for your nail-biting habit, it’s one that you should try to quit for the sake of your oral health. If you or your child has a nail-biting habit, it’s a good idea to make an appointment for a dental cleaning and a checkup so we can assess any possible damage.
In the middle of the COVID-19 global pandemic, we here at Meadows Family Dentistry know that good dental hygiene may not be…
Dr. Preston Polson has been practicing dentistry for over 15 years. Dr. Polson received his Doctorate of Dental Surgery from the University of Colorado and completed a one-year Hospital based General Practice Residency in Burlington, Vermont. Dr. Polson continues to receive advanced training in restorative, cosmetic, implant, and reconstructive dentistry in an effort to provide each patient with the highest quality dental care possible.