Are you an Onychophagist? Nail Biting 101


This post may cause you to start biting those nails again. Onychophagia is the technical term for nail biting – a habit that is common for many people, and usually develops in children. Like finger tapping or hair twirling, nail biting is usually something that’s done sub-consciously.

Not only is nail biting bad for your nails, it can also be very bad for your teeth. And as much as many nail biters want to quit, most can’t seem to break the habit. Biting your nails frequently can push your teeth out of alignment, meaning that in the future you may need treatment to fix this issue.

We’ve put together some tips to help you quit nailbiting:
Use a deterrent:

There are actually a lot of products on the market that you can buy to help you prevent nail biting. Most commonly, a polish you can use that delivers a nasty taste when you try to bite your nail. They are very cheap, and easy to use. This is a great method, because commonly people are unaware that they are even biting their nails, so this product brings the fact to your attention.

Carry a set of scissors or clippers:

If you keep your nails well-groomed (ladies, we suggest a polish in your favourite colour), you are less likely to bite your nails. If you feel any sharp edges or catches on your nails, use your scissors or clippers before you have a chance to bite them.

Distract your hands:

Try using things like squeezing a stress ball or twirling a pen. If your hands are busy, they are less likely to find their way to your teeth, so keep them occupied with something else!
Each time you find yourself biting your nails, just think about the damage you could be doing to your teeth, and consider the above options!


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