Pediatric Dentistry |3 min read

Is Your Child’s Nail Biting Doing More Harm Than You Think?

Young girl biting her nails, which can damage her smile.

When you sit next to your child during a movie, do they seem to always bite their nails?

Is it hard for your child to meet new people because their hands are always in their mouth?

Is your child’s nail polish quickly disappearing just days after painting them?

If this is the case, then your child might have a nail-biting problem that could be hurting their teeth.

Children often begin nervous habits such as hair twisting, nose picking, or nail biting for a number of reasons. Usually, they are anxious or bored.

While it may not seem like a big deal, nail biting can harm your children’s teeth.

How nail biting is harmful to teeth

No matter why your child is biting their nails, it can be very harmful to their teeth with immediate or near future implications.

When your child uses their teeth for something other than eating, it can cause their jaw to bite down harder than usual. This will create a lot of stress on their jaw that can eventually lead to a temporomandibular joint syndrome, otherwise known as TMJ.

TMJ can cause jaw and ear pain, a popping sound, and headaches.

Because your child is using their teeth as a tool instead of nail clippers, their teeth will begin to wear out just like a tool would. Which means their teeth could crack, chip, or wear down.

When your child puts so much stress on their teeth, they will begin to shift – eventually making it necessary for your child to have braces.

If your child already has braces, nail biting can result in larger problems. Nail biting with braces can result in root resorption. Root resorption is a progressive loss in the tooth’s root surface.

Not only can nail-biting affect your child’s oral health but their overall health as well. Bacteria from under the nails can get into their mouth and cause illness and infection.

How to stop nail biting

A nail-biting habit can evolve into a larger habit such as chewing pencils. That’s why it is essential to recognize the habit and stop it before it is too late.

Many different methods can be used to get your child to stop biting their nails.

Finding ways to reduce stress is a major step in stopping a nail-biting habit. Many people bite their nails as a result of nervousness or anxiety. It is important to find therapy techniques to help cope with stress.

There is also nail polish designed for people who bite their nails. Your child can use this clear nail polish that has a bad taste. It will turn your child away from having the desire to bite their nails.

Your child can also receive a custom mouth guard to help them from biting their nails. Our iGrin dentist will make an impression of your child’s teeth that will fit comfortably and allow your child to stop biting his nails.

My child still bites their nails

If you find that your child continues to bite their nails, then you should talk to our pediatric dentist in Boiling Springs, SC.

iGrin is specialized for children and will be able to help your child stay healthy. Your child’s dentist will be able to offer personalized solutions so they can stop their nail-biting habit.

Call and schedule an appointment today so we can help lead your child in the right direction.

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