11.14.2011

Nail Biting and the Effects on Teeth


This is going to be an informative blog post on nail biting and the harmful effects of it. I remember biting my nails. Mostly, because I noticed uneven ridges while at school so I would try to even them out. Then there was no nail extension just the nail bed. I won't show any pictures on this subject, because I myself am squemish and just so you know I never let my fingers bleed and it wasn't a big bad habit. I also had a lot of problems with worrying and I suppose nervousness too, at the time, I didn't think so.

Let me tell you what your nails are firstly:

Nails are made of Keratin, which is a hard protein. They also produce hair and skin; the part that you can see and touch. Hair and Nails are important to the body and even though they look differently, they are in fact the same protein - keratin.

Nails protect your hands; fingertips. Grabbing and holding objects like a rock or scissors. They make things easier to pick up such as a loose piece of thread, and it helps you to scratch a certain itch too! :)

When you bite:

You're taking the fingers' natural protection, leaving it open to infections. It also irritates the skin around it.
Chronic biters can chew so much nail that causes it to bleed.

Harmful Effects:

Everything you touch, you don't immediatly wash your hands after touching that object. How many times do you open or close a door, grab something to move it. Borrow a writing utensil. Handling money or handling a child. Everything gets left underneath the nail, so when you chew your nails, everything you've touched is going straight to your mouth. That's the quickest route most germs take and it leaves you very vulnerable to colds and other types of infection.

Chronic nail biters beware, if you don't plan on stopping, start saving money. You'll be on your way to a dentist. By biting your nails, you are using your front two teeth, which are used for chewing not cutting, they are not used for constant use,you damage enamel and the natural shape of them. Biting can reshape your teeth and they cost quite a bit to repair. $1000 and up, for a dentist bill.
Brace biters: If you wear braces and bite your nails. Stop right where you are. Your teeth have so much pressure already, by biting your nails you are increasing the pressure and damaging the roots. In the extreme, the teeth will fall out.

How to stop and other treatments:
  • Eating calcium and magnesium rich foods (or taking supplements), so the nail will repair and grow well.
  • Use bitter tasting nail polish such as: CONTROL-IT and Thum
  • Use artificial nail to protect it while growing.
  • Have an urge? Put on gloves, there's nothing like a mouthful of fabric.
  • Use a substitute. Try gum or other chewy candies or even hard candies to keep your mouth busy and your hands out of your mouth.
  • Paint your nails, make it fancy.

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