Most people who bite their nails wish they didn’t do it. If you’re a nail biter, you probably know that it spreads germs and leaves your nails looking unattractive. But did you know that it can harm your teeth? Let’s find out the connection between nail biting and tooth damage, and learn some ways to stop this nasty habit.
What does nail biting do to my teeth?
Just like chewing on hard items like ice, nails are hard and put stress on your teeth when you bite down on them. With time, your teeth will weaken and your teeth can chip or break. Since nail biting is a repetitive habit, constant chewing on your teeth wears them down faster than they should. Your teeth also can become more sensitive when the enamel is worn down. Additionally, biting your nails can move your teeth out of place. Your gums are at risk too from the additional stress the nail biting puts on them, eventually leading to gum disease and even tooth loss.
What if I wear braces?
Braces already add pressure on your teeth, so nail biting can stress them even more. The roots of your teeth can be weakened, which leads to problems like tooth loss.
How can I stop biting my nails?
Here are some tips to help you stop the nail biting habit:
- Get a hobby that uses your hands, like video games, knitting, or painting.
- Occupy your mouth by chewing sugarless gum, sucking on mints, or eating carrot sticks.
- Add foods to your diet containing calcium and magnesium because they help repair and grow your nails.
- Cover your nails with tape, petroleum jelly, fake nails (for girls), or foul-tasting liquid.
- Get manicures to make your nails look nice, so you will be less inclined to bite them.
Schedule your appointment at our St. Louis dental office