Kicking the Nail-Biting Habit
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Kicking the Nail-Biting Habit

Child bitting his nailsNot only can nail-biting be a difficult habit to break, but it can also be bad for your dental health. Nail biting leaves your fingertips red, swollen, and painful and it can also cause the teeth to become cracked or fractured. Additionally, people who bite their nails are more likely to suffer from bruxism, which is the unintentional grinding and clenching of the teeth during sleep. If left untreated, bruxism can lead to gum recession, headaches, jaw dislocation, and even tooth loss.

Tips to Stop Biting Your Nails

Nail biting can be the result of stress or anxiety and you should do all you can to break this habit. There are a few ways to help yourself kick the habit including the following:

  • Keep the nails short – If your fingernails are too short to bite, you will have no choice but to abstain from biting them. Keeping the nails short helps eliminate temptation.
  • Be aware of your triggers – Nail biting can be triggered by stressful situations or anxiety. Know your nail-biting triggers and do your best to avoid them.
  • Try to relieve your stress – We know that this suggestion is easier said than done, but the more you can relieve stress, the better. Try meditation, yoga, or deep breathing. You can also use something like a fidget cube or stress ball to keep your hands busy.
  • Wear nail polish – Most nail polishes taste bitter. If you keep your nails painted, you’ll be less likely to bite them due to the bad taste.
  • Wear bandages – If all else fails, you can use gloves or bandages to cover the fingernails and prevent you from having access to them.

No matter the cause of your nail-biting habit, it’s definitely one you should try to quit. If your child bites his or her fingernails and you’d like to schedule an appointment at our office, please contact Little Smiles of Delaware today. Our child’s dental office is located here in Delaware, Ohio.

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