Kick bad habits once and for all
SUMMARY: Chewing on your nails or a pen cap may be a nervous habit, but it may be causing you bad breath.
Posted: April 24, 2013
We all have nervous habits, but some of them are worse than others. Chewing on your nails or a pen around the office can cause damage to your teeth and wreak havoc on your breath. This bad habit can also break down the enamel on your teeth, create a gap between the teeth, weaken the gums and cause gingivitis and bad breath. Habits die hard, but here are a few things you may want to consider before indulging in your urge to bite down:
Think about all the things that you touch with your hands throughout the day: Bathroom door handles, subway hand rails, food, your keyboard – when was the last time you disinfected your keyboard? Biting your nails is about as close as you can get to feeding bacteria and germs directly into your mouth, causing bad breath. Same goes with the pen that you chew throughout the day. For your breath's sake, as well as everyone else around you, resist the urge to bite off the bacteria from your nails and pen.
Find the root of the issue
Are you in the process of kicking your nicotine habit or under a lot of stress at work? These are two major triggers of biting your nails or chewing on a pen. Whenever you get the urge to chew on something, think about the way you are currently feeling. Determining where the root motivation of your bad habit comes from may make you more conscious of the situation and encourage you to call it quits. It may be helpful to have healthy, crunchy snacks on hand like carrots or celery to overcome the urge to bite less-than-edible objects.
Equip yourself with proper tools
Maybe instead of biting your nails out of anxiety, you bite them because they are constantly rigid or cracked. If this is the case, make sure you always have nail clippers and an emery board on hand so you can properly get rid of the discomfort and help you break the habit.
Encourage children to kick the habit
Young kids often chew their nails or even use their teeth as a tool to open water bottles and bite off price tags. A child's oral health is incredibly important because their teeth need to last for many years. Encouraging good oral health for kids begins with a conversation. Baby Center suggests making your child aware of what they are doing, and promoting good habits by quitting the bad ones together.