Your nail biting makes me nervous – three tips to break the habit

by: Roy Smith, D.D.S.

If you’re an Onychophagist, this post may induce nail biting. Onychophagia is the clinical term for nail biting, a common habit that most people pick up when they are children. Like finger tapping or gum-smacking, it’s usually done unconsciously when you are nervous or bored.

One of my good friends is a nail biter, and it drives her as crazy as it does me! More than just bad for your nails and aesthetics, it’s also bad for your teeth. Here are three tips to help you kick the habit.   

Use a nibble inhibitor:
There are several products on the market that you can apply to your nails that deliver a nasty taste when you try to bite them. Because most people don’t even realize when they are biting, it’s a great way to snap yourself out of the unconscious nibbling.

Keep a set of clippers with you:
It’s harder to bite your nails when they are trimmed and filed, so keep a small set in your pocket or purse. If you feel a sharp spot or edge on your nails, reach for the clippers before you have a chance to bite.

Find a distraction:
Keep your hands busy by twirling a pen or squeezing a stress ball. The great thing about these distractions is that they will even improve your hand strength and dexterity. Just try to avoid picking something up that will bother others like pen-clicking.

Have a tip that helped you quick? Share it in the comments.

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