Beyond affecting your appearance, biting your nails can make you sick and eventually cause infections. With that said, we all know ditching a bad habit is a lot harder than it looks, and we’d like to help you out. Here’s how to stop nail biting and the effects it has on your health. 

Hygienic Risks

As you can probably assume, biting your nails isn’t the most hygienic habit to acquire. Aside from jagged fingernails, chronic nail-biting can leave a lasting impact on your teeth and gums. 

Overtime, biting your nails may cause your teeth to shift or move out of place. Down the line, you may need a brace or retainer to correct the malalignment. That’s a lot of time and money down the drain for a tiny habit like nail-biting. 

Nail-biting may also chip or crack your teeth and weaken your enamel if you’re an avid nail biter. Germs stored under your fingernails can potentially enter your mouth and cause infection or irritation to your gums. 

So, how does one kick this troublesome habit?

How to Stop Nail Biting

We know beating bad habits are hard. That’s why we made this list of tips on how to stop nail biting:

Keep it short: Regularly cut and clean your nails so that when you have the urge there is nothing to bite down on. 

Rubber band method: Wear a rubber band around your wrist. Every time you go to bite your nails, snap the band against your wrist. After a while, this will cause you to form an unpleasant feeling associated with nail-biting and will turn you off to future urges. 

Get informed: Research the kind of bacteria found under your nails and the health complications that may come along with it. Perhaps after reading about nasty infections and bacteria, you won’t feel so inclined to bite your nails. 

Streaks: Tally up the days you’ve gone without biting your nails. As you watch the days pile up, you’ll be motivated to keep the momentum going and never look back. 

Gloves: Obviously don’t wear them out in public when it’s 90 degrees, but if you’re sitting inside all day and can’t stop the urges, try wearing gloves to protect yourself from penetrating your fingernails. 

We hope these tips will help you knock your nail-biting habit. Remember, things take time and nothing changes overnight, so don’t beat yourself up if you find it hard to control yourself here and there.