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Have you ever chewed on your nails? Do you know anyone who does? If you do, we aren’t surprised– especially if you thought of a child or teenager. In fact, about 60% of children bite their nails while nearly 45% of teenagers do the same. Fortunately, nail biting does become less common as we age, but some individuals still bite their nails without even realizing what they’re doing.

Typically, stress, boredom, and anxiety trigger nail-biting. Others may chew their nails when they are frustrated or lonely. Similarly, while you may know that biting your nails is bad for your fingers–as it can leave your fingers and nails sore and infected–did you know that biting your nails will introduce bacteria and germs into your mouth? From there, if you have gum disease, the bacteria can enter your bloodstream and lead to a variety of other health issues.

While these can be serious problems, it isn’t a complete list. In fact, would you be surprised to learn that chewing your nails can actually damage your teeth? For instance, did you know that chewing your nails can even be enough to crack your teeth? However, even if it isn’t, if you chew too often, you could make your teeth uneven, ultimately resulting in an uneven bite.

Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to break the nail biting habit. For example, try treating yourself to a manicure, keeping your nails short, and using nail polish. If you are interested in learning more, please feel free to contact us at 727-785-7202. Dr. Charles Peter and our team look forward to hearing from you soon!