Damaging Teeth by Biting your Nails

Nail BitingThere are many bad habits out there. Some are conscious, and others become something we do without even thinking about it. There are reasons that a habit might help you cope. However, you have to examine whether or not your habits are helping or hurting you. Are you a nail biter? Most people focus on the annoyance of the habit, or the fact that your nails don’t look nice when you nibble on them around the clock. However, Winnetka cosmetic dentist, Dr. Brent Engelberg wants you to know that there are more problems at hand if you gnaw on your fingernails.

Chances of Nail Biting

Believe it or not, nail biting actually has a name – onchophagia. It qualifies as one of many “nervous habits” which are usually triggered by issues such as boredom or stress. Nail biting tends to be prevalent amongst kids between the ages of 10 and 18, as adolescence and teen stressors ramp up responsibilities and social challenges. All told, approximately 30% of children and 15% of adults bite their nails. Luckily, most people “grow out of it” by age 30, but that’s still plenty of time for chipped, cracked, scratched, and otherwise damaged teeth as a result of the constant biting friction.

Cons of Nail Biting

Biting your nails wears down your teeth and puts unnecessary stress on your smile. If your teeth are already damaged or weakened by decay or injury, biting can make matters worse. The habit is also unsanitary. No matter how many times a day you wash your hands, your fingernails are a perfect place for germs to hide. If you have open wounds in your mouth and you bite your nails, you could expose yourself to serious infection and a possible dental abscess. The pressure from nail biting also puts you at risk for orthodontic issues, or undoing orthodontic treatment you’ve already had.

Visit your Winnetka Cosmetic Dentist

For all of your restorative and cosmetic dental needs, visit Dr. Engelberg. You can reach our 60093 dentist office at 847-259-8030. We are happy to serve patients in Northbrook, Deerfield, Highland Park, Wilmette, Winnetka, Glencoe, Vernon Hills, Lincolnshire, Libertyville, Skokie, Evanston, Palatine, Schaumburg, Elk Grove Village, Rolling Meadows, Northwest Chicago Suburbs, and Northern Chicago Suburbs.