Is Nail Biting After Brushing Your Teeth Ruining Your Dental Hygiene?

Dentist Blog

Nail biting is a difficult habit to break, and those who suffer from it usually bite their nails at every given moment while they're awake. Unfortunately, biting your nails after you've brushed your teeth - either in the morning or at night - can do a lot to worsen the condition of your oral hygiene. If you're having trouble with habitual nail biting, read on to discover how it could be hurting you and what you should do about it.

Introducing Germs Found Under Nails

The main problem with biting your nails after you've brushed your teeth is that you're introducing leagues of bacteria into your mouth. Every surface, object, pet, and person you've touched has left behind bacteria on your hands. One study discovered hundreds of thousands of bacteria just on a single fingertip. Biting your nails contaminates your teeth, tongue, and gums with this bacteria, which can speed up the development of gum disease and tooth decay. While this can be a problem at any time of day, if you're biting your nails after brushing your teeth, you're undoing a lot of the work you put into cleaning your mouth.

Protecting Against Bacteria

Simply telling someone to break the habit of nail biting is difficult. However, there are some ways you can protect yourself from introducing bacteria into your mouth from your hands.

When you're finished brushing your teeth, consider putting on a pair of gloves. You can wear them all night when you sleep, but during the day, try just wearing them until your next meal. By covering your fingers, you won't be able to bite your nails, and that will protect your dental hygiene.

In addition, you can integrate a long-lasting mouthwash into your tooth-brushing routine. Look for a mouthwash that specifically advertises its ability to continue killing bacteria after you've rinsed. This will help to beat any bacteria that does get introduced to your mouth by your fingers.

Choosing Other Alternatives 

Lastly, if you're feeling anxious and need to bite something, try to give yourself an alternative option. Instead of biting your nails during the day, chew gum. A sugar-free gum will not only give you a way to keep your mouth and teeth busy, but they can also help to beat bacteria. This is a great way to help protect your mouth if you've already caught yourself biting your nails, as the gum can help to neutralize the germs.

Biting your nails can harm your teeth due to an introduction of bacteria, as well as potentially chipping away at your teeth over time. If you bite your nails regularly, consider seeing a dentist more often to help counteract the damage done to your oral hygiene. 


16 December 2017

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