According to an article in Psychology Today, nail-biting is much more prevalent than one might think. They cite studies that estimate as many as 50 percent of American adults bite their nails.
The problem with nail-biting is that not only is it an unsightly habit, but it can also be tough on your teeth. If you are a nail-biter, what can you do to stop? Don’t hesitate to reach out to your Aloha, OR dentists, and read on for a few tips.
Why Nail-Biting Is Bad for Your Teeth
Biting your nails can do a real number on your teeth, so the biggest reason to stop biting is because you can chip your teeth by doing so. Biting through nails usually means you end up biting down on your teeth pretty hard. Doing this repeatedly can compromise your tooth enamel.
Biting your nails can cause a gap between your two front teeth. This is especially true when the nail-biting begins in childhood.
Biting your nails can weaken your tooth roots, and it can also cause issues with the temporomandibular joint (the joint where your upper and lower jaws meet).
Gum disease has been attributed to some instances of nail-biting. (Just picture a child with dirty fingernails shoving them up between his or her teeth and gums. Lots of potential bacteria there!)
If those possibilities are incentive to stop, let’s go over some tips you can use to help you quit this habit.
What You Can Do to Stop Nail-Biting
Children who bite their nails frequently grow out of it. But if you are an adult who is still struggling, here are some ideas:
- Try one of the bitter-tasting nail polishes available.
- Keep nails polished and manicured.
- Try other methods to manage stress, such as a stress ball, yoga, or meditation.
- Use the rubberband-around-the-wrist trick and snap it when you want to bite your nails.
- Put bandages over the tips of your fingers to eliminate accessibility to your nails.
Do what you can to stop nail-biting before it does permanent damage to your teeth. Call your Aloha, OR dentist at Smith Dental if you need more help stopping this habit!