Biting your nails is a bad habit. But it feels sooo good sometimes. You can't help but give your finger a good chew. There's nothing more enjoyable than taking off a nail tip with nature's scissors, aka your teeth. It's gross for sure, but gross in a way that's satisfying. It's a habit. You know you should stop, but you can't.
Your fingertips aren't exactly clean enough to eat off of. Underneath your fingernails is a cesspool of bacteria, fungus and germs, including Staphlococcus aureus, which can lead to weird skin infections. That's not the most appetizing thing you could put in your mouth.
Don't believe us? Take science's word for it. A 2007 study tested to see if biting your nails actually did transmit bacteria from and to mouth. 76% of people who bit their nails tested positive for bacteria such as Escherichia coli, which can cause diarrhea and vomiting.
And if germs weren't reason enough to stop biting your nails, you could end up doing a lot of damage to your pearly whites. Nail biting has lead to tooth fractures and even tooth loss. Sure, those cases are extreme, but why risk it? Your nails don't taste that good.
6. You're More Likely To Grind Your Teeth In Your Sleep
Sometimes nail biting can be a sign of nervousness or stress. So if you already bite your nails, you're more likely to also grind your teeth, another stress reaction. So instead of sticking your nails in your mouth, try taking a deep breath instead.
7. It's Even Worse For Your Teeth If You Wear Braces
If you bite your nails and wear braces, you're doing something more dangerous than any of Evil Knievel's stunts. You risk breaking your braces. Plus it can lead to root resorption in teeth, which basically means that your body eats away at itself, dissolving tooth structure. So if you have to nosh on your favorite snack (i.e. your nails), at least wait until your braces are off?
Chewing your nails is actually pretty traumatic for your gums. One kid, who bit his nails for years, went to the dentist for gum swelling. His dentist found six fragmented fingernails wedged between his teeth and his gums, giving him self-inflicted gingivitis. Why waste money on dentist bills when it can be easily prevented by not putting your nails in your mouth.
You're the opposite of kissably clean when you bite your nails. People who bite their nails are more likely to have halitosis, or, in more scientific terms, nasty breath. Why? Because you're introducing even more germs into your already germy mouth. Or you could just lick a toilet seat instead?
Nail biting can mess with the skin around your nails and lead to something gnarly called acute infective paronychia. Basically, Staphylococcus aureus bacteria makes its way into open sores in your skin, then causes a pool of pus around your nail. And it does not resemble a creative piece of nail art.
Aaaand you can also get herpes from biting your nails. It's rare, but it's happened. There have been reported incidents of STIs being transmitted from hand to mouth via bacteria. Although, trying to explain that to your partner might be worse than the nail biting-induced STI.
If you have nail polish on your fingers, maybe you shouldn't bite your nails. And it's not because you'll ruin your manicure. Nail polish often contains formaldehyde and you don't really want that getting into your system. It's not exactly part of a balanced diet!
Remember when your mom told you if you made a weird face, it would get stuck that way? She should have told you that about nail biting, too. Constantly biting your nails can damage your nail bed. This can lead to an "irreversible shortening of nails." Basically, if you chew your fingers down to nubs, they'll stay nubs. Yuck!