CAN YOUR LITTLE ONE’S SMILE BE AFFECTED BY NAIL-BITING?
Nail biting is a frequent childhood activity that affects about half of all children aged 10 to 18. It’s often used to self-soothe and alleviate anxiety, similar to thumbsucking. Unfortunately, if it goes on for too long, it might lead to oral health issues.
To avoid these problems, start by visiting a pediatric dentist to discover any bad behaviors your child may have and receive personalized advice on how to deal with them.
Meanwhile, read on to learn more about how nail-biting can affect your child’s smile. You’ll also get some general advice on how to assist them to kick the habit!
Children who bite their nails frequently or forcefully may develop any of the following issues:
Chips or fractures — Nail biting weakens the protective layer of enamel over time, making teeth more vulnerable to chips.
Gum disease – The gum tissue of a youngster is vulnerable to cuts and lacerations.
Brackets and wires from braces, as well as tooth-colored fillings on the front teeth, may be chipped or damaged.
Nail biting, like any other comforting or calming behavior, can be difficult to break. Again, talking to a pediatric dentist at your child’s next appointment is a good place to start. They may suggest one or more of the following tactics:
First and foremost, exercise patience and refrain from shaming or punishing your child in order to “force” them to stop biting their nails. This is ineffective most of the time and can harm their self-esteem and self-worth.
When you see them fighting the impulse to bite their nails, use positive reinforcement such as verbal praise.
Fear and worry are common contributors to this behavior. The root problem may be addressed by providing extra comfort to your child or seeking counseling.
There are also some store-bought solutions that are harmless but bitter-tasting and make nail-biting less enticing.
Prevention is always better than treatment when it comes to keeping your child’s smile healthy. They’ll avoid a lot of oral health problems if they can stop biting their nails!