Is Your Nail Biting Habit Damaging Your Teeth

nail biting damaging teethRoyal Oak and Birmingham, MI

Biting your nails is not just a bad habit. It is bad for your teeth. Chronic nail biting makes you more vulnerable to a wide variety of risks to your oral health.

First and foremost, nail biting places significant additional pressure on your front teeth that these teeth are not meant to withstand. This extra pressure, also known as shearing, can chip the front teeth if nail biting continues unabated. Because nail biters usually use their front incisors, this damages the teeth that are most visible when you smile.

Restorative dentistry is necessary to prevent further chipping and preserve the healthy structure of the tooth. Dental bonding can often repair a chipped tooth. If you continue to bite your nails, however, then this new filling can break and do even more damage to the tooth. Repeated nail biting and subsequent fillings eventually may necessitate having a more permanent restorative procedure such as a veneer, which is a thin shell-like cover that is bonded to the front side of a tooth, or a crown, which replaces the entire exterior structure of a tooth.

The best thing a nail biter can do is stop the behavior, but like any other habit, this can be easier said than done. Persistence and dedication can help stop the behavior just like any other long-standing habitual routine, but there are things you can do to help in the process. For example, you can use certain nail polishes that have a bitter and non-toxic flavor that discourages the practice of nail biting. You also can try replacing the habit of nail biting with another oral habit, such as chewing sugar-free gum.

Hartrick Dentistry provides total oral health care to patients of all ages. Call our office at (248) 549-0950 to find out more information or to schedule an appointment.

Hartrick Dentistry welcomes patients of Royal Oak and Birmingham, MI.

Posted in Oral Health

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    Dr. Nancy Hartrick, DDS
    32609 Woodward Ave.
    Royal Oak, MI 48073
    Call: 248-549-0950
    Fax: 248-549-1180