Nail biting is a habit that can leave your nails looking cracked and brittle, but did you know it can also affect your teeth? There are many reasons why you should talk to your family dentist about the effects of nail biting on your teeth and strategies for quitting the habit. Studies show that approximately 60% of children, 45% of teenagers, and 30% of adults may bite their nails, which can affect dental health.
Why Your Family Dentist Recommends Stopping Nail Biting Habits
Biting your nails can have many effects on your health, including on oral health. Nail biting can slowly erode the enamel on your teeth, leaving them weaker and more prone to damage and sensitivity. Biting your nails can even cause your teeth to chip or crack in some cases. Also, your dentist in Katy, TX also recommends quitting a nail biting habit to help reduce the risk of your teeth moving. The force of biting your nails can weaken the roots of your teeth, which can make your teeth move. This may lead to gaps between your teeth, differences in bite, and other issues. When the roots of your teeth are weak, they are also more prone to falling out.
Nail biting can also increase your risk for developing chronic teeth grinding, also known as bruxism. Frequently biting your nails can train your jaw muscles to clench and grind your teeth, which may lead to long-term problems. Bruxism can damage your teeth and also cause jaw pain and headaches in some cases.
Your family dentist also warns about the effects of germs and dirt transferring from your fingernails to your mouth. Think about all the germs you come into contact with each day. When you bite your nails, you can transfer all those germs straight to your mouth. The increased germs in your mouth could also make you vulnerable to gum disease.
Some Tips to Try for Nail Biters
Now you know some of the dangers of nail biting for your teeth, your family dentist recommends trying to stop the habit for both your dental health and overall health. There are several techniques you can try to stop biting your nails. Some of these include:
- Trimming your nails short so there’s less there to bite
- Using bitter-tasting nail polish products
- Relaxation techniques if your nail biting is tied to stress
- Chewing on sugar-free gum instead of your nails
However, not all these strategies will work for everyone. If you’re having a hard time quitting your nail biting habit, talk to your family dentist about other techniques to try.
At The Tooth Booth, we provide cosmetic and general dentistry services for people of all ages. If you’re searching for a pediatric dentist near me or need restorative dentistry for damaged teeth, Dr. Nawar Taha offers experienced dental care for you. Dr. Taha specializes in many different types of dentistry and is here to help your smile. Call us today at (832) 437-0841 to learn more and book an appointment!