Stop biting your nails (and that pen cap, too)

Stop biting your nails (and that pen cap, too)

As a dentist, admonishing people on their apparently harmless bad habits comes with the job. My patients are always surprised when I tell them that biting their nails is bad for them, but it’s true. Stomach problems aside, biting your nails can cause serious damage to your teeth, muscles and posture.

When I say nails, I’m also talking about biting the skin around the fingers, and objects like pen caps, chopsticks, and so on.

When you’re biting down hard on these objects you’re creating a lot of pressure in your jaw muscles and you’re actually misaligning your bite. If you have one of these habits, you should be aware of the signs that they are seriously damaging your oral health.

Pain in your jaw, neck and shoulders, feeling a tightness when you’re chewing or smiling, and just having back pains can all be signs that biting your nails and other objects might be taking a toll on your oral health.

Usually, applying some heat to the zones that are feeling sore is a good way of taking the discomfort down a notch, but if you’re serious about stopping these habits you should talk with your dentist and see what he can do for you.

 

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