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Break the Habit: The Impact of Nail Biting on Dental Health!

Break the Habit: The Impact of Nail Biting on Dental Health!

Do you know that between a quarter and a third of all children, and nearly half of all teenagers bite their nails? Whether it is because of nervousness, anxiety, or just a mere habit, nail biting has repercussions. It is bad for your nails because it can tear and chew your nail bed, hence leading to ragged and uneven nails. However, it can cause several oral health issues that are even scarier.

Nail Biting Affects the Teeth and Gums

While teeth are harder than nails, nail biting habit can lead to problems with the gums and teeth in the long run.

Bruxism or Teeth Grinding

Many people who bite their nails are likely to develop a chronic teeth-grinding habit. This can lead to other oral health complications, headaches, and jaw pain.

Gingivitis

Nail biting exposes fingers complete with dirt and germs into the mouth. This can cause gum disease, which is also referred to as gingivitis.

Chipping, Cracking, and Erosion

The abrasive action of the teeth on the nails results in the wearing away of the outer layer of enamel. This may lead to the cracking or chipping of the teeth.

Malocclusion

Biting nails can make teeth shift, thus making the patient develop a malocclusion. This is an irregularity when the upper and lower teeth are aligned, leaving spaces in between.

The Impact of Nail Biting on Oral Health

Onychophagia, or nail biting, is quite common among children. This can have a great impact on their dental health.

Tooth Misalignment

The constant grinding of the nails against teeth may cause misalignment after some time. This concerns the growth of the jaw and results in biting problems.

Bruxism (Teeth Grinding)

People who bite their nails may be more likely to clench or grind their teeth, which we already talked about causes thinning of the enamel and sensitivity or pain in the jaw muscles.

Increased Risk of Infections

These bacteria found underneath the nails can introduce themselves into the mouth leading to infections affecting the general oral health.

Breaking the Habit of Nail Biting

How to stop nail biting? Here are a few strategies:

Create Awareness

Explain to your child the effects of nail biting on their oral health. There is no denying that education can act as a driving force.

Identify Triggers

Identify the circumstances in which you or the person you are helping bites their nails and try to find other ways to handle stress. These include stress balls or fidget toys.

Regular Dental Check-ups

Make sure to bring your children for checkups with a dental health group such as Smiley Kids Dental at regular intervals. They can offer expert advice and recommendations on issues surrounding oral health and nail biting.

Tips to Help Break the Nail-Biting Habit

Here are a few strategies to help stop nail biting:

  • Trim your nails: Short nails are more difficult to be bitten.
  • Get a manicure: Pretty nails may inspire you to maintain that kind of nails.
  • Use nail polish: Lip gloss does not taste pleasant and can also be used as a deterrent.
  • Be aware of your triggers: Understanding the factors that lead to nail biting can assist one in managing the behavior.
  • Slow and steady: Give up the habit gradually, beginning with the last finger of the hand.

Dental Problems Caused by Nail Biting

Nail biting can lead to different dental issues that play negative roles in dental health. First of all, there is a problem of enamel erosion. Teeth and nails touching frequently remove the enamel layer that acts as a barrier against decay thus teeth become sensitive.

Prevention And Treatment

Concentrate on approaches such as behavioral therapy and dental consultations. It is always advisable to consult a dentist to determine the extent of the damage and get personalized recommendations.

Psychologists add that nail biting disorder may stem from underlying psychological issues like stress or anxiety, which can exacerbate the harmful effects on dental health.

Don’t wait until dental issues arise—start implementing a consistent dental care routine and reach out for assistance today.

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