Monday, February 29, 2016

Why is Nail Biting Bad?

Pediatric Dentistry of Garden City & Glen Cove
Garden City:516-222-5100
Glen Cove: 516-759-7000

Nail biting habits are hard to break (and not just for kids)!  However, it's important that parents take the time to help kids find new outlets for this nervous habit.  Nail biting isn't just bad for nails, it's bad for teeth too!  This habit can lead to cracks and chips, as well as put extra stress on their front teeth.

Children who have a tendency to bite their nails or chew on pencils at school are also at a higher risk of bruxism.  Bruxism is a dental term that describes tooth grinding or clenching that eventually leads to headaches, tooth sensitivity and recessed gums.

Nail Biting Tips:

  • Keep them short.  One of the best ways to prevent nail biting is by keeping the nails trimmed and short.  When there is less to bite, nail biting will be less tempting.
  • Replace the habit. When you feel like biting your nails, offer an alternative to the habit.  It might be helpful to find another (healthy) habit to keep hands busy and away from the mouth.
  • Identify the cause.  What triggers are causing your child to bite their nails?  Whether the trigger is physical like a jagged nail or it's due to boredom or stress, you can help prevent nail biting by first addressing the initial cause.

If you have any questions about how to help your child break the nail biting habit, it's affect on their teeth, or how we can help you help them grow up with healthy, beautiful smiles, give us a call!

Call 516-222-5100 to reach our Garden City office or 516-759-7000 to reach our Glen Cove Office. To learn more about Pediatric Dentistry of Garden City and Glen Cove, visit

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