Nail biting can be a very difficult habit to break. It can leave your fingertips and nail beds swollen, red, and painful, but it’s also quite damaging to your dental health. According to the Academy of General Dentistry, people who have a habit of biting their nails are more likely to suffer from bruxism (the unintentional grinding and clenching of teeth, usually during sleep). Bruxism can lead to tooth sensitivity, gum recession, headaches, and even the loss of teeth.
Tips for Curing Nail Biting
Nail biting is usually a result of anxiety or stress and it’s a habit that you should do your best to break. Luckily, there are some steps you can take to help yourself stop biting your fingernails and help improve your dental health.
Cut your nails short – If your nails are too short to bite, you’ll have no choice but to avoid biting them. Short nails will cause less temptation.
Wear nail polish – Most nail polishes have a bitter taste. If you try to bite your nails while wearing nail polish (colored or clear), you’ll have to deal with the taste. This can sometimes be enough to help you quit.
Know your triggers – Nail biting can be triggered by emotional or stressful situations or by having hang nails. Know the situations that can trigger your nail-biting and you can better avoid them.
Relieve your stress – We know this is easier said than done, but there are a few ways you can help ease your stress. Try deep breathing, meditation, or yoga. You can also use something to keep your hands occupied, such as a stress ball or fidget cube.
Wear gloves or bandages – Lastly, if all else fails, you can use bandages or gloves to keep yourself from having access to your fingernails.
No matter the cause of your nail-biting habit, it’s one you should definitely try to quit for the sake of both your emotional and oral health. If you bite your nails and are concerned about the effect it could have on your dental health, please make an appointment here at Auburn Family Dental. Our office is located here in Wichita, KS.