Your teeth have a substantial impact on your overall health. It is important to ensure that they remain in the best possible condition. There are many habits that can cause damage to the surface of your teeth and it is possible that you are unaware of the impact that these habits can have on your teeth. Nail biting is just one of the habits that can cause substantial damage to your smile. It is important to take the steps necessary to adequately protect your teeth and enhance their overall condition. Here are some of the reasons that nail biting hurts your teeth, along with some tips to help you break the bad habit. This can substantially reduce tooth sensitivity, among many other things.
Habits that Can Damage your Teeth
Understanding which habits can damage your teeth can help you to avoid them and take the steps to mitigate the damage. When you chew on ice, it puts exceptional amounts of pressure on the teeth. This can lead to cracking and wear. Overbrushing the teeth also causes damage. Though this may seem counterintuitive, it is important to limit the number of times you brush your teeth every day to prevent damage from overbrushing. Avoid grinding your teeth and clenching your jaw. If you find that you grind your teeth during your sleep, it is important to visit your dentist to obtain the appropriate methods to protect your teeth from damage.
How Nail Biting Hurts your Teeth
There are many reasons that people bite their nails. In some cases, it is simply a matter of boring while in others, nail biting may indicate stress or anxiety. Unfortunately, nail biting can have a substantial impact on the health of your teeth.
Underneath the fingernails is an area where bacteria thrive. When you chew on your nails, you are introducing that bacteria to your mouth. This can increase the likelihood of infection, as well as accelerate the spread of gum disease and other oral health problems.
When you regularly bite your nails, it can cause the teeth to shift and move out of place. This ultimately weakens the roots of the teeth. This can have a detrimental impact on any orthodontic treatment that is being undertaken. It is especially important to avoid biting your nails when you have braces or are undergoing orthodontic treatment.
Biting your nails often leaves to sharp or jagged edges on the nails. These edges can scratch or cut the surface of the gums. This often allows bacteria to penetrate underneath the surface of the gums, which can lead to many issues, including infection.
Wear Down the Teeth
Your teeth are intended only for chewing food. When you force your teeth to break through your nails, you are accelerating the level of wear they sustain. This can cause the teeth to be far more vulnerable to chips, cavities, and various other types of damage.
When you have formed a habit of biting your nails, you are essentially clenching your teeth together every time you chew on your nails. This can lead to forming an additional habit of bruxism, which can cause further damage to the teeth. It is important to be aware of this and take the steps to eliminate both nail biting and bruxism from your repertoire of habits.
Tips for Breaking the Nail Biting Habit
These are many of the ways in which biting your nails can cause damage to your teeth. Due to all of these reasons, it is incredibly important to take the steps necessary to break your bad habit of nail biting. Here are a few tips to help you stop biting your nails.
Keep your Hands Occupied
Biting your nails is often a response to an emotional or stressful situation. By finding alternatives to keep your hands occupied, you can reduce the likelihood that you will turn to biting your nails. There are many ways that this can be accomplished. Using a stress ball or fidget spinner can go a long way toward reducing the compulsion to bite your nails.
Some people chew their nails simply to have something to do with their mouths. A healthier option is to chew sugar-free gum. In addition to preventing the damage from biting your nails, it often increases saliva production and flushes harmful particles out from your teeth.
Learn your Triggers
Avoidance is a great way to reduce the likelihood that you will bite your nails. Regular exposure to your many triggers can lead to excessive nail-biting. When you identify your triggers, you will be able to take the steps to avoid exposure to them.
Take it in Steps
Breaking an ingrained habit can feel like an incredibly difficult undertaking. By breaking the process down into steps, you can simplify the task. Focus on not biting the nails on your thumbs. After you have successfully accomplished this for a week, move on to stopping biting other fingernails. A step by step process will substantially minimize the stress and strain of the process.
Maintain your Nails
The appropriate maintenance can go a long way toward reducing the likelihood that you will chew on your nails. The shorter your nails are, the less area will be available for you to chew on. You will likely refrain from chewing on your nails if they are freshly manicured or polished. You won’t want to ruin their appearance. It is additionally likely that the polish will taste far from pleasant, as well.
At the Oral Health Center, we strive to provide you with all of the services that you need to ensure that your teeth remain healthy. It is incredibly important to stop biting your nails to prevent the habit from causing damage to your teeth. From regular dental cleanings to maintaining a superior oral health routine, there are many techniques that you can use to protect the health of your smile. To learn more about protecting the condition of your teeth, contact our experts at the Oral Health Center today!