Why Should I Stop Biting My Nails?

At Platinum Dental Care, we are most concerned with the state and health of your teeth. Nail biting is a habit that can hurt your teeth and your body, and we will cover both. If you are a nail biter, we also included some ideas for kicking the habit.

Why is Nail Biting Bad for My Teeth?

The first problem with nail biting is probably one everybody knows: Nail biting makes you more likely to get sick. Exposing you to germs by putting unwashed hands into your mouth, nail biting invites disease and bacteria into the body. Not only that, but the dirt and germs that collect in your nail bed during the day are the first parts of the fingers to enter the mouth. Yuck! So, end the habit and avoid getting sick.

Suggested Reading: Can Poor Oral Hygiene Affect My Overall Health?

Nail biting can also damage your teeth. The tissue and structure of your nails makes them useful—if your nails weren’t hard and durable, they wouldn’t be so necessary. However, the very same structure that makes them useful also makes them hard on your teeth. The most common side effect of nail biting is misaligned teeth. Others experience tooth chipping or even splintering your tooth’s enamel.

Other problems with nail biting include cosmetic damage, spreading fungal skin disease, spreading warts, and eventually shrinking the size and shape of the nail permanently.

What to Do if You or Your Child is a Nail Biter

As nail biting (especially in adults) is a way to relieve stress, an effective way to reduce the urge to bite is to look for another way to de-stress is to do so in a non-destructive way.

One common technique used to thwart the urge to bite is to keep your nails clean and neatly trimmed. Often nail biters find this activity to be therapeutic because they are “fixing” a problem on their own (boosting their self-efficacy in an ironically destructive way). If your nails are clean and trimmed, however, you will not want to bite your own nails because they won’t need to be bit!

A final, favorite technique of many parents is the “make your nails taste so bad you won’t want to bite them.” Many products available at drugstores and beauty supply stores apply a mild, unpleasant-tasting liquid to the nails that will keep you from biting throughout the day.

If you need more ideas to get yourself (or your child) away from their own nails, visit http:// womenshealthmag.com/life/stop- biting-your-nails-for-real- this-time for more ideas and information on the dangers of nail biting. Platinum Dental Care specializes in repairing damage that can be caused by nail biting or any other damaging encounter. Nail biter or not, we love helping smiles shine with the brilliance of being clean from the inside out.

Dr. Chavez is a dentist in Provo. Surrounded by nail biters himself, at home and at work, he can recognize “nail biter mouth” a mile away. He may be the best dentist in Utah, but whether or not that’s the case, he certainly must be the best dentist in Provo. Aside from his family, Dr. Chavez loves seeing the confidence that comes when a patient knows they have a great smile. If you are interested in Invisalign in Provo, teeth whitening in Provo, or just a routine dental appointment in Provo, call 801.426.6255.