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Dear Dish-it: I Bite My Nails

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Dear Dish-it,

My mom told me unless I stop biting my nails I won't get anything for my birthday. What should I do to stop?

mommy's little girl

Nail Biting's BadNail Biting's Bad

Dear mlg,

The solution is right at your fingertips! Really wanting to break a bad habit like biting your nails is the first step to stopping (having a reason to stop - like getting a birthday gift - makes it that much better). You already know nail-biting hurts and looks awful, but did you know it can cause skin infections and make you catch more colds because you expose yourself to germs?

Why You Should Stop

Biting your nails can rip and tear your nails and the skin around your nails, causing bleeding, infections and a lot of pain! Your nails and fingertips can become so sensitive that you may even have to eat those salt and vinegar chips with a spoon. Not only that, but there are also lots of germs living underneath your nails! If you're chomping down on your nails, these germs can enter your mouth and you could get sick. Need another reason why it's not healthy? It damages your front teeth.

How To Stop

Try the following tips to kick your bad habit for good:

  • Eat foods rich in calcium and magnesium to help repair your nails and make 'em grow.
  • Distract your mouth. Chew gum, suck on a lollipop, blow balloons or munch on carrot sticks.
  • Distract your hands. Take up a hobby like playing video games, drumming, knitting, or painting.
  • Cover your nails. Wear gloves, tape the ends of your fingers, rub on petroleum jelly or wear fake nails (for girls).
  • Apply a special nail polish that makes your nails taste gross!
  • Get regular manicures. If your nails look good, you may be less likely to bite 'em off.
  • Talk to your mom/doctor - they may have some ideas or ways to help you handle your bad habit.
  • Carry a nail file and clippers in your bag at all times and use them instead of your teeth whenever you're tempted to bite your nails.

 

Sound Off

How would you break a bad habit? Have your say by leaving a comment below this story!

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