How Harmless It Is
Biting nails is pretty common habit that affects large portion of world population.This unhealthy habit can be triggered by many reasons such as: stress, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), anxiety or purely out of boredom.
Even if it seems harmless, it can infect you with bacteria or fungi that might enter into the body and blood stream, increasing your chances of contracting a cold or flu at some point(according to the Mayo Clinic).
Infecting Yourself By This Habit
If you ever check with microscope what is under your nails, I don’t think that you will put them in your mouth once again. The most common pathogens that live under our nails are Staphylococcus, Strep,Coryneform bacteria, and dermatophytic fungi, which can enter your body through tiny small breaks in your skin, or from ingesting them right after biting your nails.
Initiated Cold And Flu By Nail Biting
There are more than 200 cold viruses spreading around. It is known that the major risk factor for getting flu or cold, is a weakened immune system, or exposure to someone who is already ill, but you can significantly reduce your chances of catching a virus by keeping your hands away from your mouth.
Viruses that cause flu also live on your skin, so it is highly recommended to wash your hands frequently with soap and water in general, and especially if you are around someone who is already sick.
If you are nervous by default, don’t bite your nails – chew a gum.
Biting Your Nails Harms Your Teeth
Nail biting can cause severe damage to your teeth and gums. The Academy of General Dentistry has found that nail biting can crack, chip, or wear down the front teeth, and also potentially lead to sore gums and gum tissue damage. If you already have these issues, check with your dentist to guide you with some help to stop biting your nails.
Techniques might be suggested to help you quit the habit for good.
Ways To Stop That Habit
There are some proven techniques that might help loosing this nasty nails biting habit.
- Keep nails trimmed short
- Coat your nails with a bitter-tasting nail biting polish.The same technique can work with your child.
- Get regular manicures (keep your nails looking attractive, you’ll be less likely to bite them)
- Try yoga, meditation, deep breathing, or squeezing a stress ball to relax and lower your stress levels
If you have already tried all of these techniques and nothing is working, then try putting self-adhesive bandages on the tips of your fingers so your nails won’t be accessible to bite.
And the next time anxiety kicks you, try taking deep breath instead of nail biting and try to endure the urge!