Nail Biting

Nail Biting
Posted on 04/18/2019

How Nail Biting Effects Your Teeth

At Henseler & Kocian Orthodontics, we're proud to offer comprehensive orthodontic treatment to patients throughout Woodbury, Stillwater, and the surrounding areas. But in addition to offering treatments like braces and Invisalign, we strive to be a complete resource for all aspects of orthodontic and oral health. Unfortunately, many of us develop habits that undermine the health of our teeth and smile – and one of the most common is nail biting.


The Dangers of Nail Biting

Biting your nails is a common nervous habit for many people, and while it may seem harmless, it can cause serious problems with the teeth over time. Fundamentally, this is because your teeth should never be used as tools: teeth are designed to chew food, aid in speech and social signaling. Chronically using your teeth for other uses can damage them severely. But the dangers go beyond that – and here are some of the most important:

  • Exposure to Pathogens: The nails are a hotbed for bacteria and other germs, as dirt and debris that lodges itself under the nails can harbor all sorts of nasty microbes. Nail biting exposes you to these microorganisms.
  • Tooth Wear: As we've said, the teeth are designed primarily for chewing food. Biting your nails can cause excessive, uneven wear on the teeth that can lead to serious damage over time.
  • Increased Dental Costs: In a very literal sense, nail biting carries a price tag. According to the Academy of General Dentistry, people who bite their nails average $4,000 more in extra dental bills over their lifetime.
  • Risk for Bruxisms: Patients that chew on inedible items like fingernails, pen caps or pencils are at a greater risk for developing bruxism or chronic tooth grinding. This can lead to further wear of the teeth leading to cosmetic changes and increased sensitivity.

Contact Your Stillwater Orthodontist

Biting your nails may not seem like a problem, but over time, it can have a serious negative impact on your teeth. If you're struggling with nail biting or think you may need dental treatment, Henseler & Kocian Orthodontics can help. Contact us today to learn more about the dangers of nail biting and how we can help you quit the habit. We can't wait to hear from you!