We have all been in a situation of stress where we ought to release it somehow. One way some people do this is by nail biting. Funny enough, it is not clear e nough how this habit was acquired or even developed, but it usually begins during childhood. Other than making your nails look uneven and mismatched, it affects both your smile and health.
We shall reviewing some important topics about the matter with the help of our Los Algodones dentists. Things like what it entails, how you should avoid it and how to overcome it!
Nail biting? What Is That?
Nail biting is a way to cope with the situation. It is used as a way to relieve the anxiety and stress the person might be experimenting at that moment. Nail biting is usually associated with disorders such as OCD and ADHD where something must be done during stress.
Somebody that engages in this type of behavior usually presents uneven snails, as well as worn out front teeth. Due this, it is very linked with bruxism, pencil chewing and the like, which end up in headaches, tooth sensitivity and facial pain.
How do you avoid nail biting?
As we have mentioned before, it is very close to bruxism, so looking to stop such habits also works for this. So during moments of stress, Los Algodones dentists advise to be mindful about what situations trigger these.
As for the disadvantages, we hope these will give plenty of reasons for you to stop it:
- Nail biting has a long permanent effect on your teeth. By constantly biting and chewing on your nails, your tooth enamel is bound to get worn down.
- You are subjected to develop caries more easily. Due the lack of tooth enamel, bacteria has an easier time getting to the dentin and wrecking havoc.
- Tooth sensitivity is a given. As your enamel weakens, the change of temperature will be quicker to reach the nerve in your teeth.
- It makes your front teeth look flat. Since you are biting your nails, you are also clenching your teeth in the process. This turns into a big problem aesthetic wise.
- Can change your bite in the long run. Due the unnecessary stress applied onto your jaw, it can shift your teeth in the long run. This is especially dangerous for people who have braces, as they are already under pressure.
- It is very, very unsanitary. There are a lot of things that come in touch with our hands, let alone get stuck between our fingernails.
- Can be fatal for your health. Since you are having your nails in your mouth, bacteria from outside can easily get into your system. For example, if you have a cut or any sort of wound (like in gum disease), then the germs and bacteria can easily get into your bloodstream.
Tips towards quitting nail biting
The most important tip we can give you here in Los Algodones is that you are mindful about what triggers it. From there you can work out what suits you better towards easing up the stress and anxiety. Nonetheless, these can help:
- Keep your nails shorter than usual. This way it will be more difficult to bite and a reminder to quit the dreadful habit.
- Know what helps you under stress situations. Is it music? Exercise? Reading? Games? Meditation? Painting or drawing? Finding out a task that keeps your mind busy is essential.
- Alternatively, some stores have available a special bitter-tasting nail polish. Applying this onto your nails will have them have a horrible bitter taste to them. It works for children and adults alike.