There are lots of bad habits that can damage your teeth. For one reason of another, many of us use our teeth as tools for anything but eating. We drink teeth-staining beverages, we use our teeth as a knife, we smoke tobacco. But there is one bad habit that starts from childhood and progresses through adulthood – nail biting.
You may think that biting your nails is a harmless habit to have, but it really does a number on your smile. Not only can you chip a tooth, but you can also expose your mouth to bacteria that is hidden beneath your nail surface, which can wreak more havoc than a cosmetic issue.
If you are a chronic nail biter, you really need to consider stopping before your smile is damaged. Here are a few tips:
- Keep your nails trimmed.
- Apply bitter-tasting nail polish to your nails. This over-the-counter option is safe, and the awful taste deters the most avid nail biter.
- Get regular manicures. Spending money to keep your nails looking attractive may make you less likely to bite them.
- Replace the nail-biting habit with a good habit, like a stress ball.
- Identify your triggers. By figuring out what causes you to bite your nails, you can figure out how to avoid these situations and develop a plan to stop.
- Try to gradually stop biting your nails. Start with your thumbs and eventually you can work your way to both sets of nails.
Making small steps towards quitting a habit is a great way to ensure you’re breaking the habit. The goal is to get to the point where you no longer bite any of your nails, so slow and steady will win the race.
If you’re interested in learning more about the effects of biting your nails on your teeth, contact Dr. Lieberman at 727-785-8017 to schedule a consultation today. Or visit www.dentist-lieberman.com for additional information.
Dr. Larry Lieberman proudly accepts patients from Palm Harbor and all surrounding areas.