Posted on 9/10/2019 by Fariba Mutschler
|Nail biting is certainly a bad habit in adults, but did you know that it can actually be pretty damaging to a child's oral development? Kids who bite their nails are leaving themselves open to a number of dental issues, some of which aren't as apparent as others. If your kid is a nail biter, here are a few reasons why you should work with them to overcome this bad habit.
Nails Are Dirty
We use our hands to do so much every day that it's nearly impossible to keep bacteria, dirt, and other debris out from under our nails. Even if your child washes their hands regularly, they're still going to get some dirt and bacteria under their nails.
Biting them, then allows these bacteria to move right into the mouth. This can lead to a number of different infections, some of which affect the mouth. Others, such as salmonella, can affect many other parts of the body.
Nails Can Crack Teeth
Children who bite their nails all the time may actually crack a chip or tooth on them. While nails may not seem as tough or as hard as ice or some foods, they're strong enough to cause damage.
Nail Biting and Braces Are a Bad Combination
If your child has braces, nail biting can cause some additional issues. It can actually make it more likely that they will suffer from root resorption, an issue where the roots of the teeth actually shorten due to wearing braces.
Nail Biting Has Other Consequences
In addition to these issues, studies do suggest that nail biting has an impact on bruxism or tooth grinding. That brings with it a number of other dental issues. Nail biting can also lead to a condition called paronychia, which is an infection in the fingers.
All in all, nail biting is a bad habit. If your child does this, be sure to mention it to us the next time they're in for an appointment so we can look for signs that it's damaged their teeth. If you don't have an appointment scheduled, call today to make one.
My daughter was a little nervous to have her dental work done but everyone in the office was super friendly and very reassuring and that helped her nervousness go away. Thanks for the excellent dental experience. ~ Lilyana G.
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