Posted on 12/30/2019 by Brian Rounds, DDS
|Nail biting is one of the hardest habits to break. Some experts have placed it in the same league as cigarette smoking when it comes to breaking the habit. Biting into the nails might be your default go-to whenever you are feeling nervous.
However, the habit is quite destructive because it places you at risk of getting sick, and also can be very damaging to your teeth. Here are a few reasons why you need to avoid biting your nails.
Dirt under the Nails
Through the day, people tend to pick up a lot of dirt and germs. This is due to the surfaces we come into contact with, the foods we eat and even the hands we shake. Even though you might make a point to frequently wash your hands; it's highly likely that there are germs under your nails. Therefore, when you bite the nails, you are then giving said germs a direct route into your body. It's not surprising that you get a tummy ache after a session of biting your nails.
Not Good For Your TeethAlthough teeth are very strong, they should never be used as tools. The only purpose of teeth is chewing food. Since then nails by themselves are also quite hardy, you will find that you will need a lot of pressure to cut through the nail. This regular exercise of pressure can cause the teeth to shift which might then cause you to get a retainer or get some braces. Biting nails can also damage the tooth's enamel and bring about tooth sensitivity which is quite unpleasant.
Increases Risk of InfectionWhen you constantly bite into your nails, you are placing yourself at greater risk of Paronychia which is an infection of the nail. Paronychia is quite painful. Its symptoms include a swollen area around the nail which is often around the cuticle. If you have warts on the said finger, then chewing on others can cause the warts to spread.
Although nail biting is a difficult habit to stop, it's not impossible. There are plenty of strategies that have been tried and tested. They work quite well and also help people to regain control over these habits so that they can better their quality of life.