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The Effect of Nail Biting on Oral Health

April 25, 2018
Posted By: Dr. H. Justin Harlow, DDS
Smiling Dentist | Dentist in Charlotte NC

Nail-biting is a common habit that is usually discouraged because of esthetics. After all, nails bitten to the quick are simply not attractive.

But there are ramifications on oral health that we seldom discuss relative to nail-biting. The constant pressure on the upper and lower teeth can lead to chips, cracks, and fractures. People who wear braces and bite their nails put their teeth at risk of root shortening from the pressure of the biting in addition to the pressure of the wires and brackets.

There is also a lot of bacteria on our hands, particularly under the nails, and putting that into the mouth on a regular basis is not only unsanitary, but it can also make us sick. Nail-biting can cause gums to tear, making it easy for germs to enter the bloodstream.

Nail biting is a tough habit to break, but if you don’t stop, you can be putting your teeth at risk—as well as your manicure. Talk to your Charlotte, NC dentist Dr. Justin Harlow if you need help stopping this habit.

Ways to Stop Nail-Biting

There are several popular ways to break the bad habit of nail-biting.

Talk to your dentist about a mouthguard. This will protect your teeth and make the act of nail-biting just about impossible. People who don’t even realize they are biting their nails can benefit from this option.

There are a number of products on the market you can put on your nails—similar to fingernail polish—that have an awful taste. The minute you put your hands in your mouth, you’ll be reminded not to bite your nails.

Talk to Your Charlotte Dentist Today!

If you have tried unsuccessfully to stop biting your nails, contact your Charlotte, NC dentist and we’ll be happy to help offer suggestions. We want to help you protect your oral health from this bad habit!

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