Nail-biting is a common habit that typically starts in childhood. Though it can be difficult to stop like so many bad habits, it can still be done. After all, it is not good for your dental health. But, don’t despair if you struggle with nail-biting. We’ve identified some strategies for you to try. 

Effects of Biting Your Nails on Your Teeth

  • May make you more prone to infection as you spread bacteria from your hand to your mouth. 
  • Damage to your teeth from chewing hard nails.
  • Can cause teeth enamel to erode over time. 
  • Can lead to bruxism, which is when you unconsciously grind your teeth while you are awake or while you are sleeping.

How to Stop Biting Your Nails

  1. Keep your nails short. Short nails don’t give you much to bite on!
  2. Chew gum instead. Keep your mouth occupied by chewing on sugar-free gum.
  3. Identify your triggers. Stress, anxiety, and boredom can all play a role in chronic nail-biting. 
  4. Apply nail polish. Opt for a bitter-tasting nail polish specially made for nail-biters. 
  5. Put tape on your nails. The tape makes it more difficult to immediately chew on your nails whenever you have the urge. 
  6. Keep your hands busy. Play with silly putty, play dough, or squeeze on a stress ball to distract yourself.
  7. Stop gradually, nail by nail. Quitting cold turkey may not actually help you quit. The best way to stop is by reducing—one by one— the nails you chew on until eventually, you stop biting on them altogether.

Be patient – habits do take some time to break, but the effort is worth it for your health and well-being.

Friendly Dentists in Louisville, KY

Our helpful, non-judgmental staff is here to help you if you can’t kick this habit to the curb on your own. Your oral health is our greatest priority. If you need help getting your oral health back on track, don’t hesitate to reach out to our team here at Breckenridge Dental. You can reach us by phone at (502) 451-5222 or by email at

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