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Biting nails is a very common habit. When we get nervous, or anxious, or even frustrated we head right for those fingernails and start choming! Of course doctors will tell you about the endless amounts of bacteria under those fingernails, which should be a concern for you. But as Orthodontists, while we do want you to be aware of germs and bacteria, we also really want you to take good care of your teeth. And nail biting is not a good way to do that. First of all, it can cause your teeth to chip. That really is the number one issue with nail biting as far as we are concerned. We would imagine you also don’t want a chipped tooth. Besides chipping teeth, nail biting can be bad for your teeth in some other ways. Hopefully by listing some of these will help persuade you to retire this habit.

shutterstock_59200846Roots can weaken

If you bite your nails while you have braces the roots of your teeth can grow weaker. This is called “Root Resorption”. What begins to happen is the roots start to dissolve by the surrounding bone. This of course weakens the root and makes the orthodontic treatment more difficult.

Might cause Diastema

If you started biting your fingernails when you are a child, it may be the reason you have that gap between your teeth. This doesn’t happen to everybody, but it is a very real possibility.

TMJ Issues

There are some cases where biting your fingernails is a the reason why you might have TMJ pain. If you are experiencing this pain, and you bite your nails, stop right away.


Studies have shown that young children who bite their fingernails tend to push their nails between the teeth and gums. Because of this, the gums can become infected.

Biting your nails is a habit that is easy to form. But if you are going through orthodontic treatment it’s a great idea to stop the nail biting. You want straight teeth, and we want to assist in giving you those straight teeth. So you do your part and stop biting your nails, and we’ll be sure to get you those straight teeth in no time!