As we ring in a new year, talk of resolutions to take on 2019 is becoming a topic of conversation. At Krengel Dental, we know many patients see the opportunity to break a bad habit or make a positive change in oral care routine and add it to the resolution list. One habit we are often asked about is nail biting. While nail biting is a habit that will take a toll on your teeth, there are always a lot of effective ways to bite the habit to help you reach your resolution.
While nail biting might not seem like it comes with any long-term consequences, there is harm in making a habit out of nail biting over time due to the pressure it puts on your teeth. Since the nails are one of the harder surfaces of your body, enough repeated force on your teeth can lead to erosion from the stress. The biting habit can take such a toll that a tooth may even chip and there can be visible wear on the bite, making your teeth look worn down.
Unfortunately, nail biting can even bring more bacteria into your mouth and even affect your jaw structure. Constantly biting your teeth means the bacteria housed in your nails (which holds a whole lot of gunk) can get into your bloodstream and harm your gums. Since our jaw is not designed to be grinding teeth constantly due to nail biting, the repeated behavior will take a toll on your jawline too. Consistent nail biting can in fact lead to pain in the jaw and TMJ.
So what can help to beat nail biting and lose the habit? Here are a couple tips your Krengel Dental Team can share:
- Keep your nails short! If your nails are short and filed, it will be hard to give your teeth much to work with.
- Get to the bottom of it. Nail biting is oftentimes a way to reduce stress or anxiety and is a learned response. Identify what may be causing the stress or anxiety in order to find more effective, healthy coping strategies that don’t jeopardize your dental health.
- Tamper with the taste. There are several special nail polishes and nail products that are created to help you tame the habit by having a bitter taste. Ask your Krengel Dental dentist about products worth checking out.
Our team is here to help you set and reach your new year resolutions, making 2019 the best year yet. Looking for other ways to better your dental health this next year? We have the answers to your questions. Call us today: 952-888-1311.