Nail biting is an incredibly common habit that can cause more damage than the detriment to the appearance of your nails. It is important to understand how nail biting affects your teeth to ensure that the condition of your teeth can be protected. There are multiple other habits that may also cause damage to the health of your teeth. Eliminating these habits can help to reduce tooth sensitivity and protect your teeth.
Various Habits that Hurt your Teeth
It is important to understand which habits can cause damage to your teeth. For one thing, you should refrain from using your teeth for anything aside from chewing your food. Using your teeth as a bottle opener or other tool can cause substantial amounts of wear and damage to the teeth. Clenching the jaw, chewing on ice, biting your nails, and grinding your teeth can all lead to damage to the teeth. Regularly consuming sugar can wear down the enamel of the teeth and cause the teeth to be vulnerable to damage.
The Ways in Which Nail Biting Affects your Teeth
Nail biting can significantly damage the teeth. Understanding how nail biting affects your teeth can provide you with the motivation that you need to stop biting your nails once and for all. Here are just a few of the ways in which nail biting can affect the condition of your teeth.
When you bite your nails, you are often clenching your teeth. This can create a trained response that occurs when you are experiencing stressful emotions. Even when you consciously try to avoid chewing on your nails, you may be grinding your teeth together and still causing damage to them.
Cracking and Wearing Down
Nails are formed from a hardened version of keratin. When you chew on your nails, you are essentially forcing your teeth to break through this hard substance. This accelerates the wear to your teeth and can even cause the teeth to crack. Cracked teeth often lead to significant amounts of pain and escalated issues.
Weaken the Roots
The roots of your teeth are what help anchor your teeth to your gums. When you bite your nails, it can result in the shifting of the teeth, which will weaken these roots. This can cause a multitude of issues, especially when it comes to successful orthodontic treatment.
Depending on how often you wash your hands, it is likely that bacteria have accumulated underneath your fingernails. When you bite on your nails, you are allowing these bacteria to infiltrate into your mouth. This can lead to a higher rate of infection, as well as spreads oral diseases through the mouth more quickly.
Biting your nails can cause them to have jagged, sharp edges. This can cause scratching of the surface of the gums. When combined with the excessive bacteria on the fingernails, it can cause infections and substantial damage to the gums.
Tips for Stopping Nail Biting
It is vital to stop nail biting. Not only will this improve the appearance of your nails, but it will also help to prevent damage to your teeth. Here are some ways to help stop your habitual nail biting and protect the health of your smile.
Determine your Triggers
Avoiding your triggers can significantly help to reduce the amount of time that you spend biting your nails. In order to avoid your triggers, you must first determine what causes you to bite your nails. Understanding whether you do this out of boredom or anxiety can help you to eliminate the issues that are causing you to bite your nails.
Spending money on a manicure will substantially eliminate the likelihood that you will bite your nails. If you have spent your money on the appearance of your nails, you will be far less likely to do anything that might damage this appearance. This will simply feel like a waste of money.
Cover With Bitter Polish
Nail polish simply doesn’t taste good. Additionally, many types of nail polish are made specifically for those trying to break the nail-biting habit. When you cover your nails with a coat of this polish, you will feel much less inclined to bite your nails.
Keep Nails Short
When you find that you are chronically biting your nails, it can be particularly beneficial to clip your nails regularly and keep them short. This can go a long way toward breaking your nail-biting habit. Ultimately, you will be unable to bite on short nails, as they won’t provide you with any material to bite on.
Biting your nails is often a coping mechanism to help deal with stress or even boredom. Finding alternative measures can reduce the amount of time that you spend biting your nails. This can be done with simple tools, such as fidget spinners or stress balls, or with more substantial measures. For example, you may want to begin doing yoga or visiting a therapist.
Chewing gum regularly can be a far better alternative to biting your fingernails. Not only can biting the fingernails cause damage to the teeth but chewing gum can actually benefit the health of the teeth. Ensure that the gum is sugar-free to prevent it from accelerating damage to the smile.
Take it in Steps
It can feel incredibly overwhelming to quit a habit cold turkey. Fortunately, any steps that you take to reduce your nail biting will ultimately benefit your teeth. Take the changes to your life one step at a time. Focus on not biting a specific fingernail or otherwise reducing the amount that you bite your nails. These steps can make the process feel less overwhelming.
Here at Hendersonville Family Dental, we strive to protect the health and strength of your teeth. It is important to visit your dentist regularly to ensure that your teeth remain in the best possible condition. To learn more about how our services can improve the health of your teeth, contact our office today!