Your Child’s Nail-Biting Habit
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Your Child’s Nail-Biting Habit

A young boy biting his nails

If your child has a habit of nail-biting, he or she is not alone. It’s a very common habit, and it typically begins in childhood. It’s a difficult habit to break in adulthood, so it’s a good idea to address this habit when your kids are still young. However, it’s not just fingernails that are damaged during nail-biting; teeth can also suffer damage!

How Nail Biting Can Damage Your Health

Below are a few reasons why you should help your child quit his or her nail-biting habit: 

  • Nails may begin to grow in wrong, causing them to look strange.
  • Nails are a great hiding spot for all sorts of different germs. Your child’s risk of getting sick is significantly increased when the bacteria under the nails are allowed to enter the body.
  • Nail-biting can increase the risk of suffering from bruxism, which is the clenching and grinding of the teeth during sleep. Bruxism can cause teeth to become chipped, cracked, or even loosen.
  • Lastly, biting his or her nails can also cause problems with your child’s jaw alignment.

How to Break the Habit 

Below are a few ways to help your child break their nail-biting habit for good:

  • Cut the Nails Short – If the nails are cut short, they are much less satisfying to chew on. Not having enough of a nail can also make it more difficult and less satisfying for your child to bite their nails.
  • Keep Little Hands Busy – There are many ways to keep your child’s hands busy so that they can’t focus as much on biting their nails. We recommend using a fidget cube, stress ball, or even a fidget spinner to keep the hands busy.
  • Use Nail Polish – Lastly, nail polish does not taste good! Because of this, you can paint your child’s nails (clear or colored) to discourage them from biting their nails.

If you’re having trouble helping your child kick his or her nail-biting habit, please contact Little Smiles of Delaware. Our children’s dental office is located here in Delaware, Ohio.

Posted on Jul 13, 2020

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