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Nail-Biting Can Damage Your Braces

A girl biting on her nails

Nail-biting is harmful to your mouth and teeth, but biting your nails while wearing braces can cause a whole new set of issues. Many people bite their nails as a nervous habit, which can be brought on by boredom, stress, depression, etc. Nail-biting is more common than you may think; around 30% of kids and 15% of adults are nail biters!

Below are a few of the ways that nail-biting can damage your dental braces:

  • Biting your nails can delay your orthodontic treatment, resulting in the need for you to keep your braces on for longer than you would have if you didn’t bite your nails. This delay is caused by the pressure on your teeth and tooth roots when you bite your nails.
  • The Academy of General Dentistry estimates that you can spend as much as $4,000 in dental bills over your lifetime due to your nail-biting habit. If you can’t quit the habit for your teeth, quit for your pocketbook! 
  • Biting your nails can cause your teeth to wear down. If you currently have braces or have had braces in the past, biting your nails could cause your teeth to become crooked again.
  • Lastly, even though it’s unrelated to your dental health, nail-biting is incredibly unsanitary. Fingernails are almost twice as dirty as your hands, and they pick up all sorts of germs and bacteria. 

The best thing you can do for your dental health is to kick the nail-biting habit for good!

Below are a few tips on how to help yourself quit:

  • Paint your nails – Nail polish tastes bitter, so having polish on your fingers will deter you from biting. If you don’t want color on your nails, put on a clear coat!
  • Trim your nails short – If your nails are short, there’s nothing left to bite.
  • Wear a mouthguard – A mouth guard will prevent you from being able to bite your nails. 

Another essential part of quitting nail-biting is understanding what triggers your desire to bite your nails and avoid these triggers.

For more information about maintaining good dental health while undergoing orthodontic treatment, please contact Firestone Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics. Our Fort Lupton orthodontist is here to help! 

Posted on Sep 28, 2020
Image Credit: © Dreamstime.com

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