There are a lot of threats towards your oral health out there, enough to stress you out and make you want to bite your nails. However, among all nervous habits, biting your nails is the worst for your oral health! It has been estimated that about half of all humans bite their nails, and at ten fingernails per person, that’s a lot of fingernails being chewed on everyday! But how can a harmless nail bite here or there be bad for your teeth? Here’s why:
- Nail biting can wear down your teeth. Uneven biting surfaces, enamel wear, and even a chipped tooth are all possibilities if you are a nail biter. Your teeth need a break between meals, but biting on your nails all day essentially causes your teeth to never get this break! In return, your teeth can become misaligned because of all the stress. So, give them that much needed break!
- Nail biting can break front tooth fillings you spent many dollars on! Those front tooth fillings are fragile. They may look perfect but they stand no chance against nail biting!
- Nail biting is bad for your jaw. It can contribute to Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) disorder, which can manifest as jaw pain, headaches, and locking and popping of the jaw. Also, according to the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD), people who bite their nails are at a higher risk for bruxism (learn more about Bruxism HERE)
- Nail biting is bad for braces. If you have braces you already know how much pressure your teeth are under. Biting your nails only adds to that pressure, stressing your teeth out, weakening them, and harming your orthodontic treatment and overall bite.
- Nail biting is gross. Nails are filled with dirt and germs. Even if you are a compulsive hand-sanitizer, your hands are still one of the most germ-laden areas of your body (and your nails are even worse!). Biting your nails exposes you to illness causing germs to transfer from your hands to your mouth.
- Nail biting is expensive. According to the AGD, people who bite their nails pay an average of $4,000 in additional dental bills over their lifetime. Is it worth it?
So I think its time to kick the habit to the curb. Your teeth, nails, immune system, and pocketbook will thank you.
Let’s kick it together! At DurhamDDS, we offer a generous helping of dental services for patients of all ages in the Triangle area. Call us at 919-286-0779 to set up an appointment or visit our website at durhamdds.com for more information. Did you find this article helpful? Please +1 us if you are a gmail-er or like us on Facebook at the top of the article! Thanks.