Family and Cosmetic Dentist - Livonia
31574 Schoolcraft Road
Livonia, MI 48150
Nail biting is a common habit among up to 50 percent of children, and a smaller, but still significant, percentage of adults. While the cosmetic disadvantages of nail biting are obvious, there are some other more serious repercussions of this habit that could affect everything from your nails to your teeth to the spread of bacteria in other parts of your body.
According to the Academy of General Dentistry, nail biting can cause a variety of unpleasant, and potentially expensive, dental problems:
So, what's the cure for nail biting? It varies from person to person, with some remedies focusing on behavioral changes and others on physical barriers to nail biting. Sometimes children, and especially teens, bite their nails more when they are having problems at school or with friends. Talk to your child's teacher about any new stresses at school that might have triggered a nervous reaction. In the meantime, here are some tips that you may want to consider in order to discourage the nail biting habit:
Regardless of whether you bite your nails in times of stress or excitement, or simply when you're bored, the bottom line is that nail biting is not a pretty habit. In fact, in addition to the dental and bacterial repercussions, long-term nail biting can permanently affect normal nail growth and cause deformed nails. Talk to your doctor about why you or your child may have started nail biting in the first place, and ask for suggestions on how to break the habit before it leads to anything more than just unsightly nails.