People of all ages bite their nails and it’s a hard habit to break. While nail biting is more common in children, adults also struggle to avoid this stress-relieving habit. How does nail biting affect your oral health?
Perils of Nail Biting
The Academy of General Dentistry reports that people who bite their nails jeopardize their oral health and increase their risk for bruxism. Nail biting wears down teeth, weakens tooth enamel and may cause teeth to crack, as a result. Gums also become sore when fingernails scrape or puncture their sensitive tissues, causing irritation from bacteria in the mouth.
How To Break The Nail Biting Habit
It’s easier said than done, but it is possible to stop biting your nails and enjoy a healthier mouth. Break the habit to save your teeth and gums! Here are specific steps that help some people:
- Keep your nails trimmed and filed, with clean cuticles. When your nails look attractive, it’s easier to be motivated to maintain their attractive appearance.
- Think about what causes you to bite your nails and how to avoid these situations. If you often do it as a reaction to stress, reducing your stress-load will help your teeth and overall health.
- Use bitter nail polish as a reminder to quit.
- Keep a rubber band on a wrist (or two) and snap it when you catch yourself biting.
- If your child bites their nails, it could be because of pressure they experience at school or a change in their routine. Speak openly with your child to determine why they bite their nails and how you can support them to relieve stress and discontinue nail biting.
- Consider a using a custom mouthguard to stop nail biting. Many patients discover using a mouthguard relieves tension, headaches, and tooth sensitivity in addition to reducing the occurrence of nail biting.
Long term nail biting not only hurts your hands but also your mouth. Prevent dental complications and stop biting your nails! Seek help from the kind dentists at the Yuba City Dentistry Group.