Biting your nails is unfortunately very common. This bad habit is usually acquired during childhood, nail biting does severe damage, not only to your fingers and cuticles, but also to your teeth. It can be a hard habit to break, but the side effects make quitting worth it.
Nail Biting Side Effects
Simply put, nails are hard objects that should not be chewed on. The tension and force behind biting your nails can cause teeth to break or fracture. Biting your nails can do extensive damage to dental work, especially if you have braces or other large appliances like a retainer. The consequences of biting your nails can last your entire life. Some people suffer from chronic jaw pain and TMJ long after quitting, so the earlier you decide to stop, the better your health will be later in life.
4 Ways to Quit Biting Your Nails
As mentioned, nail biting has lasting effects on your oral health. People who bite their nails is usually contributed to stress, boredom, or a hand-to-mouth fixation acquired early in life. If you suffer from biting your nails and you are ready to quit, try some of these tactics below to increase the likelihood of quitting nail biting for good.
- Use nail polish.
Many nail biters would argue that they will bite their nails anyway, but doing things with the purpose of avoiding something else can give you the willpower to use it as a reminder to stop. Let it be a reminder to stop when you look down and see you have actually eaten your nail polish… Yikes. Even clear nail polish will work.
- Choose one nail at a time.
Slow and steady wins the race. Choose one nail each week that you vow not to bite. Seeing the improvement is a rewarding process and in two months both hands will have beautiful, well-kept fingernails and your teeth will thank you.
- Properly maintain your nails.
For those of you who bite your nails because you can’t stand the way they look, find a different treatment that doesn’t involve nail biting. Every few days give yourself a manicure. Push back your cuticles. File and shape your nails. Use a strengthening clear cote. The better managed your nails are, the less likely you will want to mess them up by biting your nails.
- Occupy your hands and mouth.
A great way to stop biting your nails is to find something to replace the bad habit. It can be anything from chewing gum, to playing with a ring you wear, or eating a snack. Keeping your mouth and hands busy will take away from the urge to satisfy your need to bite. Of course if you do choose to snack or chew gum, make sure it is sugar-free so you aren’t damaging your teeth in other ways.
Biting your nails is a terrible habit that seems impossible to break. Following these guidelines should help relieve your habit easily in little time. Don’t forget to reward yourself for making this step. Contact Sugar Land Dental Spa in Houston, Texas to take care of the teeth that you quit biting your nails for. Our dentists will be able to repair any damages to your beautiful teeth from old childhood habits.