Nail biting is a common habit that a number of people engage in. It's a well-known fact that this practice is unsanitary because it introduces germs and bacteria into your mouth. Nail biting can also be problematic for your oral health. If you or a loved one unconsciously engages in nail biting, it's a good idea to learn just some of the ways this practice can cause more harm to your teeth than good.
Increased Risk of Fractures
Frequent nail biting puts a high level of undue stress on your teeth -- stress that increases your risk of a tooth fracture. First, your nails are hard. Gnawing down on a hard object alone is enough to cause damage to your teeth. However, the real trouble comes from the fact that nail biting requires you to concentrate a great deal of force within one area of your tooth.
When you're biting down on your nail, you're likely to move the nail to the edge or corner of your tooth to get a better grip. When you combine a hard object with a concentrated area of force, it's basically a disaster waiting to happen.
Hinders Orthodontic Treatment Progress
If you wear braces, getting them removed as quickly as possible is likely a goal. If you are a nail biter, you could actually be limiting the progress of your orthodontic treatment. Wearing braces alone places stress on your teeth, and as previously mentioned, biting your nails only puts additional stress on your teeth. Combined, this excessive level of stress can actually damage the braces and their components.
Once the damage occurs, the braces are no longer efficiently treating your bite problems. To resolve this issue, you will not only have to pay to have the braces repaired, but you will also need to wear them longer to make up for the time that they were not efficiently treating your bite.
Stopping This Harmful Practice
Fortunately, there are a number of things you can do to eliminate this bad habit. First, always keep your nails trimmed. The less of a nail you have to bite, the less likely you are to even try. You could also consider painting your nails with a special, clear polish designed to taste bitter and discourage nail biting. If you can't seem to stop this practice on your own, don't hesitate to speak with a dentist, like those at Glendale Dental Group, about alternative methods.
Don't let nail biting damage your smile. Keep your nails out of your mouth to keep your smile healthy and beautiful.