In terms of bad habits dentists hate, nail biting is right up there with chewing ice cubes and opening chip bags with your teeth. It may be a comforting coping mechanism in times of stress, but nail biting poses serious risks to your oral health and overall health. Not only can nail biting chip and crack your teeth, it can also introduce harmful bacteria from under your nails into your mouth. If you’re a nervous nail biter, below are some ways you can break the habit!
You can’t bite your nails if you don’t have anything to bite! Try keeping a nail clipper handy, and switch from tooth-trimming to tool-trimming. This may be easier than quitting cold turkey.
Many over-the-counter products are available to help discourage people from biting their nails. If you don’t want to pay for one, you could also try painting your nails with jalepeno juice or something similar—just make sure you don’t forget and put your fingers in your eyes!
Spending money to keep your nails looking attractive may make you less likely to bite them.
When you feel like biting your nails, try playing with a stress ball or silly putty instead. This will help keep your hands busy and away from your mouth.
Some doctors recommend taking a gradual approach to breaking the habit. Try to stop biting one set of nails, such as your thumb nails, first. When that’s successful, eliminate your pinky nails, pointer nails, or even an entire hand. The goal is to get to the point where you no longer bite any of your nails.
These hobbies can help people who bite their nails, because the flavor of the clay or plaster will remain in your fingers for several days after you wash it off. The gritty feeling of clay silica isn’t pleasant to bite down on, either.
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