Nail biting is a common and universal bad habit that dentists discourage in their patients. It’s an easy habit to pick up and a hard one to break, but stopping nail biting is very beneficial to oral health. Quitting the bad habit of nail biting may not be easy, but there are solutions that can help people stop so they can improve and maintain healthy teeth.
Risks associated with nail biting
When you bite your nails, it places pressure on your front teeth that they’re not designed to withstand. Shearing is the name for this kind of pressure on the front teeth. Teeth are highly durable and can handle different stresses, but shearing from nail biting may lead to a chipped tooth or teeth. A majority of nail biters use their front incisors to bite, and this can damage these highly visible teeth.
Dental treatments for nail biting damage
Although a dentist can repair a chipped tooth with a filling or dental bonding, continued nail biting could break the dental repair and require further treatments. Repeated dental treatments of damaged teeth can lead to the need for a more permanent solution like a dental crown.
Prevention is the best treatment
The best treatment for nail biting damage is to avoid it all together by remedying the bad habit. Even if your dentist has told you that you’re risking damage to your teeth, or you’ve already damaged your teeth, lifelong habits are hard to break, especially if you bite your nails to deal with stress. You need to be persistent in your efforts to stop biting your nails and utilize other available tools as necessary. Stores sell polishes that have an unpleasant, non-toxic flavor to discourage nail biting, but they may not work for you. A good way to start is to replace the bad habit with a better habit that keeps your mouth occupied such as chewing sugar-free gum. If you chew sugar-free gum after meals that can further help your oral health as it increases saliva production, which helps wash away food residue and bacteria.
Biting your nails may seem harmless to you, but it’s not as it can damage your teeth to the point of requiring dental repair. You should also never use your teeth for opening packages, chewing on pens or pencils or chewing ice as that can also damage teeth. If you’ve chipped a tooth biting your nails or want to find ways to break the habit, contact Creative Dental today so they can ensure the health and beauty of your smile for a lifetime.