Nail-biting is a habit that can develop at an early age. Often, people do this out of nerves or stress. Regardless, continuing to bite your fingernails will negatively affect your oral health over time.
If you want to keep your smile looking and feeling its best, you should cease this habit as soon as you can. Your dentist may offer advice to help you resist this action. It may help to know why the habit is so bad for your teeth. Read on to find three of the many reasons to stop biting your nails and preserve your smile.
Why Stop a Nail-Biting Habit?
Prevent Tooth Breakage
Your teeth have a durable outer layer called enamel that withstands daily wear and tear from chewing without issue. But fingernails have a harder texture than your teeth are used to.
Biting down on fingernails will generate abnormally high pressure on your teeth, which may cause the teeth to chip, crack, or fracture. These injuries will require prompt treatment from your dentist or they can worsen.
This will not only disrupt the look of your smile. It will also put your teeth at risk of decay and infection. Though your dentist can repair broken teeth with restorative dentistry, ideally, you should preserve the natural structure of your smile. You can avoid the risk of this dental damage by stopping a nail-biting habit.
Avoid Shifting Teeth Out of Place
Biting nails exerts pressure on teeth, which can impact more than just the shape and health of the teeth. This pressure may also cause teeth to shift out of place. Children, whose teeth have not yet fused into a permanent position, are especially vulnerable to this dental concern.
Your dentist can help you straighten your teeth with Invisalign. But you may feel self-conscious about crookedness or spacing issues in your smile before you seek this treatment.
Also, more severe malocclusions may need evaluation from an orthodontist. Prevent this damage to your teeth by avoiding biting your nails and similar oral habits.
Keep Harmful Particles Out of Your Mouth
You know that the action of biting down on hard fingernails can hurt your teeth. But your nails carry germs, bacteria, and more harmful particles that could pose a danger to your oral health.
While your mouth contains natural bacteria, additional germs may increase plaque formation. This may mean you hold a higher risk of contracting oral infections, including gum disease.
Gum disease can progress easily without dental treatment, leading to irreversible dental harm like gum recession and tooth loss. You might need extensive and invasive dental work to get your smile back to feeling and looking its best.
Reduce the chances of this kind of dental damage by avoiding putting items in your mouth that should not be there. This includes your hands and your fingernails. For more preventative dental care and advice, call your dentist or schedule an appointment with their office.