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Why Biting Your Nails Is Bad News

kids articles

Do ya use your teeth to cut your nails instead of reaching for the nail clippers? Are your nails in worse condition than your dog's chew toy? You may want to stop right there and find out why it's not healthy to gnaw away at your nails.

Nail Biting - Behind the Biting

Nail biting is the habit of biting your fingernails (or even your toenails!). It's most common among kids and teens, and it's also more common in guys than girls.

Nail Biting - What Causes It?

People can bite their nails cuz they're nervous, stressed out, hungry or bored. It can also be a sign of a mental or emotional disorder.

Nail Biting - Why You Shouldn't Bite

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.

Nail Biting - How to Stop Biting!

Like many habits, it's not easy to quit biting your nails. But here are a few suggestions that may help you break the habit.

  • 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.
  • 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.
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