Nail biting can be a tough habit to break. It’s damaging to your fingertips and nail beds and can cause pain, redness, and swelling. However, in addition to damaging the fingers, nail-biting can also harm your dental health. In fact, the Academy of General Dentistry has found that people who bite their nails are more likely to suffer from bruxism as well. Bruxism is the unintentional clenching and grinding of teeth during sleep and can cause headaches, tooth sensitivity, and gum recession.
Tips on Quitting Your Nail-Biting Habit
Nail biting is almost always a result of stress or anxiety and it’s a habit that you should try to break. Below are a few tips you can use to quit your nail-biting habit for good:
- Wear nail polish – Nail polish tastes bitter, so if you’re trying to bite your fingernails while wearing nail polish, it won’t be a pleasant experience!
- Cut your nails short – If your nails are cut too short to bite, you’ll have no choice but to avoid biting them. Short nails lessen temptation.
- Wear gloves or bandages – Use bandages or gloves to remove access to your fingernails. If you bite your nails in your sleep, this can be a great way to avoid that.
- Know your triggers – Nail-biting is most often the result of stress, so it’s important to know what situations trigger your stress and avoid them at all costs!
For the sake of your oral and mental health, you should get to the bottom of your nail-biting habit and quit it for good. If you’re concerned about the negative effect that nail-biting can have on your orthodontic appliances, please contact Garlock Orthodontics in Aurora, Colorado.