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Is Biting Nails Bad for My Teeth?

Your tooth enamel may be the hardest surface in your body, but that does not mean it’s invincible. It can be damaged by poor oral hygiene, traumatic impact, and even by biting or chewing certain surfaces. In fact, one commonly overlooked source of damage to teeth is nail biting.

Close up of a women biting her nails

We know, kicking a nail-biting habit is often easier said than done. Most people may not even realize they’re biting their nails when they’re anxious, bored, or otherwise preoccupied. Eliminating the habit can not only improve the appearance of your nails, it can protect your pearly whites. To motivate you, we’ve asked our team at Chaney Dental to weigh in with some information about biting your nails and breaking the habit.

How Does Nail Biting Harm My Teeth?

You might be surprised to learn that biting nails is bad for your teeth. After all, your teeth seem so much stronger than your nails. The truth is that nail biting damages your teeth in a variety of ways. First, the grinding of teeth against nails can cause gradual erosion, chipping, or cracking of your tooth enamel. Over time, biting nails can also cause your teeth to move or even lead to tooth-grinding problems.

Nail Biting & Oral Hygiene

Then, there’s the issue of cleanliness. Dirt and germs often get trapped underneath your fingernails. When you bite your nails, those germs get transferred to your mouth. This can lead to bad breath, irritation and even infection.

Tips to Stop Biting Your Nails

It can be difficult to find the root cause for biting your nails. However, there are several things you can do to stop the habit. First of all, we recommend trimming your nails regularly. Some of our patients have found that painting their nails with bad-tasting polish or even getting a manicure can help them kick the habit. Other times, you might want to replace the habit with a more harmless activity, like squeezing a stress ball.

Friendly Help in Prairie Village, KS

The friendly Chaney Dental team is happy to answer any of your oral health questions. We are here to help you keep your smile in great shape. One of the best ways to protect your smile is regular preventive care! Schedule your next appointment by calling our office or clicking the contact link below.

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