We all know that certain habits can be detrimental to our health. Even though we realise it, some habits are harder to break than others. It is even harder when we do not see any danger or consequences of the habit.

We all know that habits such as smoking and eating sugary foods and beverages are all bad habits. Another habit that puts your oral health at risk is nail biting. Biting or chewing on objects like pens caps also puts your oral health at risk.


Effects of Nail Biting

Increased risk of chipping or wearing of teeth.

Biting your nails often will consistently place stress on your teeth. Over time this can cause chipping or fracturing of the tooth’s enamel. This habit also leads to accelerated wear or premature wear of the teeth. Fortunately small chips, cracks or fractures can be easily fixed with cosmetic dental procedures.

An increased risk of crooked teeth.


Frequently exerting stress on your teeth when biting nails may result in misaligned teeth. Issues such as crowding of teeth, shifting of teeth and uneven spacing of teeth can result. When a particular tooth is placed under stress, it can affect that tooth’s position in the mouth. If you have braces, nail biting can also affect your treatment results or delay treatment.

Chance of infection

If nails are not routinely cleaned and kept hygienically, many bacteria can dwell under the fingernails. Biting nails can expose these bacteria to the throat and mouth. Bacteria such as Escherichia coli, also known as E. coli can harbour under the nails. Once they are introduced in the mouth, it can lead to infection.

Ready To Drop The Habit?


Some people bite their nails when they are stressed out or bored. Finding other ways to deal with stress and boredom can help to save your teeth. Adopting new habits such as breathing exercises can help with relieving stress. Keeping your nails short will also make it harder to bite them. Wearing nail polish will also result in an unpleasant taste that can deter biting of nails.

Remember that it generally takes around 21 days to successfully break a habit. So do not give up if you have momentary lapses.

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