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Dr. Na Xu
Healthy Smiles Family Dental

2601 25th St., Suite 400
Salem, OR 97302

P: (503) 385-1185
F: (503) 339-1981

Things to do Instead of Biting your Nails

Posted on 9/15/2015 by Na Xu
A woman damaging her teeth by biting her nails.Do you bite your nails as a nervous habit or just because you are bored? Many people have this habit, but do not realize the damages that it causes. If you are a nervous or boredom nail biter, you could be causing a variety of issues for your physical and oral health.

Your physical health can suffer as a result of the numerous germs you are putting in your mouth that lie beneath your fingernails. Think of all of the places your fingers go, and then consider all of those germs entering your mouth - that is what nail biting can do.

Those germs then put you at risk for a variety of illnesses. If that is not bad enough, biting your nails can do extensive damage to your teeth. Your front teeth were not made for excessive biting and chewing, which means you could fracture or simply wear them down, making them unsightly in the long run. In addition, biting your nails can put your gums at risk if the nail were to tear the gum, giving you an ulcer on the gum or even put you at risk for an infection.

Ways to Stop Biting Your Nails

The first step to stop biting your nails is to figure out why you do it. Try to take not when you do it the most. Are you stressed or bored? Once you know the reason you are doing it, you can elicit the proper actions to ensure that it stops. If you are chewing them due to stress, try to find proper relaxation techniques that eliminate the stress from your body and therefore the need to bite your nails.

A few techniques include:
•  Massage
•  Yoga
•  Meditation
•  Counseling

Techniques that you can add to your everyday routine include if you are biting your nails out of boredom include: wearing a rubber band around your wrist and snapping it if you find yourself with the desire to bite your nails; trimming your nails short enough that they cannot be chewed on; and wearing bandages on your fingers to deter the habit.

Things to Do
Rather than biting your nails, try to find another outlet for your stress or boredom. Take a walk; put on your favorite tunes and dance; talk to a friend; read a book; or just distract yourself with any other task. Usually distraction will be enough to put an end to the habit. If you find that you simply cannot stop biting your nails, you may need professional help to change your habits.

Your oral health needs you to stop biting your nails, whatever the reason may be. In the end, you could end up with damaged or unpleasant looking teeth, especially since it is the front teeth that bite your nails. If you care about the appearance of your smile and do not want to go through cosmetic dentistry procedures as a result of your nail biting habit, find a way to stop biting your nails today! Your oral and physical health will thank you in the long run.

If you have already caused damage to your teeth as a result of nail biting or are worried about your habit, make an appointment to come see us today. We will help you determine the damage that has been caused as well as the proper methods to prevent any future damage. The last thing you want to deal with is broken or misshapen teeth as a result of a habit that could have been stopped.

Please call us for an appointment today!

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