Your Child’s Nail-Biting Habit and Its Impact on Dental Health
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Your Child’s Nail-Biting Habit and Its Impact on Dental Health

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Child bitting his nailNail-biting is a habit that most people develop during childhood. While it’s quite common, it’s also notoriously difficult to quit. There are many disadvantages to nail-biting, but your child’s teeth may suffer the most from this habit. Some children will naturally outgrow the habit as they get older, but other kids may need help to stop.

Nail-Biting and the Damage it Can Cause

Nail-biting can be a way for your child to relieve stress. However, it can cause damage to your child’s teeth and overall health. Below are a few ways in which nail-biting can cause problems:

  • Your child’s fingernails may begin to grow it at crooked or awkward angles, causing them to look strange.
  • Nail-biting can increase your child’s risk of suffering from bruxism, which is the clenching and grinding of the teeth during sleep. This can cause damage to the teeth and jaws.
  • Germs love hiding under the fingernails. When your child bites his or her nails, bacteria are being allowed into the mouth. This may cause your child to get sick more frequently.
  • Lastly, the act of biting the nails can create situations in which the teeth crack, break, or become chipped.

Helping Your Child Break the Nail-Biting Habit

Below are a few ways you can help your child to stop biting his or her fingernails:

  • Keep Nails Short – If your child’s nails are cut short, they’re much more difficult and less satisfying to bite.
  • Keep Hands Busy – Keeping your child’s hands busy will help them avoid nail-biting. We recommend fidget cubes, fidget spinners, or even a stress ball.
  • Know the Triggers – If you know what stress triggers cause your child to bite his or her nails, it’s best to take steps to avoid them or minimize the stress associated with them.

If you’re concerned about your child’s nail-biting habit, please don’t hesitate to make an appointment here at Camp Little Tooth. Our child’s dental office is located in beautiful Lafayette, Colorado.

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