How Nail Biting Can Damage Orthodontic Braces

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How Nail Biting Can Damage Orthodontic Braces

Young woman with dental braces bitting nailsNail biting can cause damage to your teeth in many ways but biting your nails while undergoing orthodontic treatment can create a whole other set of issues. Nail-biting is a nervous habit that can be brought on by boredom, stress, or other negative emotions. Around 15% of adults and 30% of kids bite their nails regularly!

Damage Done to Braces by Nail-Biting

Below are a few of the negative effects that nail biting can have on your child’s orthodontic treatment:

  • The damage that is done to your teeth and your dental braces can have an effect on your finances. In fact, the Academy of General Dentistry has estimated that around $4,000 can be spent on dental bills as a direct result of nail-biting.
  • Biting your fingernails can wear down your teeth and dental enamel. If you currently have dental braces or have had braces in the past, biting your nails can risk causing your teeth to become crooked and uneven again.
  • Biting your nails can postpone or delay your orthodontic treatment. This means that you may need to wear your braces for a longer period of time than originally estimated. This is because of the pressure that nail-biting can put on your tooth roots.
  • Lastly, biting your nails is very unsanitary. In fact, fingernails are almost twice as contaminated by germs as your hands, harboring a number of bacteria and other germs. This can make you sick if you bite your nails regularly.

The best thing you can do for your orthodontic health is to kick your nail-biting habit as soon as possible. Below are a few tips on how to quit biting your nails:

  • Keep your nails trimmed short so there’s less to bite.
  • Paint your nails as most polish tastes bitter and will be a deterrent.
  • Wear a mouth guard that prevents nighttime fingernail biting.
  • Understand your stress triggers and learn to avoid them.

If you’re undergoing orthodontic treatment and are struggling to kick your nail-biting habit, please discuss it with us at your next appointment. To make an appointment, please contact Kuhni Orthodontic Studio here in Spanish Fork, Utah.

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