Chances are, you already know that biting your nails isn't good for your hands or your teeth. However, you might be surprised to know that biting your nails can do more than make your teeth crooked. You can actually wear down the surface of your teeth, making your teeth weaker, shorter, or jagged. If you're worried that you may be damaging your teeth, check this guide to find out and learn what you can do about it.
Measure The Difference
It's normal for your teeth to be slightly uneven, but similar teeth should be level with each other. For example, your incisors should be the same length, even if they're longer or shorter than their neighboring, non-canine teeth.
While it may be hard to tell just by looking, a magnifying mirror can make it easier to tell if there's a difference between the length of your teeth. Or, you can take a ruler and hold it against the bottom of your teeth. If the ruler is even when touching the bottom of your teeth, your teeth may not be significantly worn down. However, if the ruler is tipped or uneven, your teeth may already be worn down.
Watch For Warning Signs
Even if your teeth aren't worn down, there are other signs you can find. Look at the ends of your teeth in the mirror. See how the biting edge of your teeth is smooth? If any of your teeth appear to be jagged instead of smooth, that could be damage from biting your nails.
Biting your nails puts a tremendous amount of focused pressure on your teeth, which can wear away unevenly at the tooth. As a result, the tooth may become slightly jagged or sharp.
Repair The Damage
Obviously, not biting your nails is the only way to fully stop the damage to your teeth. However, you can repair the appearance of your teeth and reduce the amount of damage they're exposed to by having veneers or caps installed.
Veneers are adhered to the front of your teeth, giving them an even and healthy appearance. In addition, when you bite down, the veneers take the majority of the pressure, so your teeth will experience less damage even if you keep biting your nails.
Tooth caps fit over the entirety of your teeth, which not only make your teeth look healthy and even, but also completely protect the tooth from future damage. Dental caps are also beneficial for protecting your teeth from plaque, so they may be the best of both worlds.
It's in the best interest of your teeth to stop biting your nails. However, choosing a simple cosmetic dentistry procedure can help to protect your teeth from further damage and improve the look of your smile.