Nail-biting can make a lot of difference in the way your hands look. For one thing, it can make nails look weird. Moreover, if you damage the tissue around the nails, they may cease growing the way they should.
This will result in abnormal-looking nails. Chipped, cracked or broken teeth can result from excessive nail-biting. You may even face jaw problems. Hands carry germs, too. Nail-biting damages, not just your skin, but also your health! Kick this annoying habit out by using these methods.
How to Stop Biting Your Nails
1. Cut Your Nails Short
One of the most effective, workable, and surefire ways to stop biting your nail is to cut them short. That way, there won’t be any nails for you to start biting, to begin with! It will also feel less satisfying even if you do try to nibble at your trimmed nails.
2. Coat Nails with Hot Pepper
If you can’t stop biting your nails, here’s a hot tip! Try chilly peppers. Coat your nails with hot pepper(1) powder so every bite can be a bad experience. That bitter taste will make you think before you start chewing your nails.
[Read: Nails Tells About Your Health]
3. Try a Manicure
Spend the money and go to a salon. Having a manicure will stave off the nail-biting syndrome. After all, you don’t want to stop your nails from looking good, do you?
4. Wear Gloves
If you cover your nails with cloth or rubber, biting them can be hard. Try using nail stickers, if the idea of gloves does not appeal to you.
5. Know Your Triggers
Notice how you feel and why you resort to nail-biting. Once you know what the cues are, you can easily avoid these, and find ways to cope effectively.
6. Keep Your Hands and Mouth Busy
Find different items to fiddle around with. Use stress balls. Play with colored stones. You can even chew gum, so your mouth remains busy and occupied with other pursuits rather than biting your nails.
[Read: Side Effects of Nail Polish]
7. Track Nail Biting Episodes
Keep a journal or make a mental note of what exactly happens to start a nail-biting episode. Once you get to the root of the problem, there is a more in-depth understanding of what sparks a bad habit. From feeling stressed to just mindlessly chewing your nails, it’s a journey you don’t want to make!
8. Ask Pals for Help
A friend in need is most definitely a friend indeed. So don’t be afraid to ask your pal for some help. Get the support of your loved ones or team up with friends and increase the chance of successfully kicking this habit.
Do ask friends and family to call you out if they see you biting your nails again. Encourage them to cheer you on. Find a friend who wants to stop eating the nails and make a pledge to help others and yourself by setting up a buddy system.
9. Think of Your Dental Damage
Wearing braces or suffering in a dentist’s chair is not an appealing idea. If you don’t want any chipped, cracked or broken tooth, be sure to quit nail-biting. Think of the damage you may be inflicting on your pearly whites. Biting the nails can dent the teeth’s root.
This causes numerous tooth and gum injuries like infections or rotting teeth. Nibbling on the nail chips away from your teeth. Get serious about protecting your teeth and kick out nail-biting for good.
10. Use an App
Yes, there’s an app for nail-biting too. After all, isn’t there an app for everything nowadays? Use apps like Streaks that let you check how many days in a row can you go without biting your nails. The program’s goal is to rack up consecutive achievements, so you benefit from the momentum. Using an app is an excellent way to keep the problem at bay.
11. Try Wearables
Wearable devices like Habit Aware are fitness trackers that use motion sensors to protect you from gesticulating and engaging in repetitive actions like nail-biting(2). There’s a linked app that alerts you to this unwanted habit, every time you start biting your nails unconsciously.
12. Cut Hangnails
Many times, a hangnail makes it seem like it’s okay to bit your nail. Place a clipper within easy reach in your purse to prevent this situation. Don’t let a hangnail lead to nail-biting. Nip the problem in the bud.
13. Resist the Urge
If you feel like biting your nails, try taking care of them instead. For example, paint your nails or file them. Apply lotions on your hands. The whole idea is to replace an adverse action with a good one.
[Read: Home Remedies for Yellow Nails]
14. Always Be Mindful
Mindfulness can also be a powerful ally in your bid to stop biting nails. Noticing everything around you increases awareness. When you bit your nails, think of the pain involved and the unpalatable sensation of skin in your mouth. Nail-biting will cease to appeal to you. Many times, people bit nails to ward off stress or when they are distracted. Replace the rewarding sensation of biting the nails by associating it with pitfalls.
15. Think of Your Dream Nails
If you want to stop biting your nails, motivate yourself by placing a photo of a pair of beautifully polished, manicured, and healthy nails within easy reach. Whenever you feel like biting your nail, look at the picture, and you’ll feel motivated to stop!
16. Reward Every Milestone
Even if you stop chewing your nails for 10 minutes lesser, it’s time to reward yourself. Slowly decrease the amount of time you spent nibbling the nails and pat yourself on the back for every time you are successful in staving off the urge to bite.
Eventually, nail-biting can only come to a grinding halt if you stop rewarding yourself and engaging in this habit to ward off stress or tension. Nail-biting is a response to the emotions within you. It’s more than just an annoying habit. So, watch out for the drawbacks of nail-biting and motivate yourself to give up chewing your fingertips with your teeth. Not only will it help you to have beautiful hands, but it will also ensure you continue to have excellent health outcomes, too.