Nail Biters? Not With Your Invisalign!
Many people have nervous habits that they turn to when feeling anxious. Some people twirl their hair, crack their knuckles and about half of all children aged 10 to 18 are nail biters. Although this habit may seem harmless, it’s one they’re better off giving up.
Nail biting is a risky behavior and here’s why:
- It’s Unsanitary: Your hands and nails don’t just carry objects; they carry around germs that can make you sick. Salmonella, E. coli and HPV can lurk under your nails and infect your mouth and face.
- It Wears Down Your Teeth: When you’re nails are continually between your teeth it damages them. It can change the alignment and weaken and damage roots. The American Dental Association estimates that the damage caused by nail biting can add up to an additional $4000 in dental expenses over a lifetime.
- It Can Interfere With Orthodontic Treatment: The damage caused by chronic nail biting can make your teeth not strong enough to undergo the forces applied by braces. When wearing your Invisalign, it can also damage your trays.
The sooner that the nail biting habit is broken, the healthier your child’s smile will be. Here are some tips to help them stop:
- Keep their nails short and filed so there are no edges to bite off.
- For girls, paint their nails with a polish that they got to pick out.
- Purchase an over-the-counter nail product that makes them taste bitter.
- Give them another activity to use their hands for such as painting, drawing or using clay.
- Have them wear gloves, Band-Aids or stickers to keep them from having access to nails.
At Cronauer and Angelakis, we want to help your kids have not just a straight smile but a healthy smile too. That’s why we recommend orthodontic visits for kids beginning around the age of 8. Contact our office to schedule your child’s complimentary consultation today.