How Does Nail Biting Effect You?
May 15, 2017  |  Family Dentistry

How Does Nail Biting Effect You?

Nail biting, also known as onchophagia is one of the ” Nervous habits” that can be triggered by stress, excitement or boredom. Approximately half of all kids between the ages of 10 – 18 have been nail biters at one time or another. Experts say that about 30% of children and 15% of adults are nail biters. Most people stop chewing their nails by the time they turn 30.


Here are 4 Dental and General Reasons to Stop Biting Your Nails

It is unsanitary! Your nails harbor bacteria and germs. They are almost twice as dirty as fingers! And did you know? If you swallow dirty nails, it can lead to stomach problems.

It wears down your teeth. Chewing your nails can put added stress on your pearly whites! If you have a habit of always chewing the same direction, you can cause teeth to chip or crack. And with kids growing and changing, if the fingers are in the mouth, teeth can shift. This could result in expensive dental work!

It can delay your orthodontic treatment! For those of our patients wearing braces, nail biting puts additional stress on teeth and roots that are moving. This can counteract the movement the orthodontist is trying to achieve.

It can Cost you, Literally! It has been estimated that up to $4,000 in extra dental bills can build up over a lifetime of nail biting.

Dr. Jeff and Dr. Trent recommend the following tips to help kick the habit.

  • Keep your nails trimmed short: you will have less nail to bite.

  • Coat your nails with a bitter tasting nail polish – this is clear so it can be used on anyone.

  • Put a rubber band on your wrist and snap it / play with it instead of gnawing away!

  • Think about when and why you chew your nails. Whether you are nervous or bored, it is good to understand the triggers. This will help in finding a solution to stop the habit.

  • If you just can’t stop, discuss with your Medical Doctor for a behavioral therapy location.

We Are Ready To See You. Welcome Back!

We have always put our patients and team’s health and safety first and will continue to do so! During the shelter in place our team has been busy reinforcing what we have always done to keep our patients safe and secure as well as implement additional steps so that we could re-open with confidence! Our vision is to keep our patients informed and supported every step of the way. We want you to know:

  • That we are paying close attention to the evolving CDC guidelines and will continue to make our practice safe for all those we are honored to serve.
  • Our team has worked diligently to make sure that all social distancing requirements are in place, so that every patient can come back to care with confidence.
  • Your dental health is important and impacts your overall health and we are committed to supporting each and every one of you as we return to full services beyond emergency care.
  • Our hygienists have streamlined their protocols, so that patients can return to their continuing care intervals, which are key in maintaining health and well-being.
  • We will continue to post updates, as well as tips to keep you healthy during these unprecedented times on our Facebook Page Westhilldentalappleton. We invite you to join the conversation!

We look forward to seeing you soon! Our greatest reward comes from serving our dental family!