10 Best Ways On How To Stop Nail Biting Habit In Toddlers & Adults For Good

Updated: 07/26/2019


From a child to an adult, anyone may bite his or her nails because of various reasons, such as curiosity, boredom, mimicry, stress alleviation, or habit[1]. Nail biting, also known as onychophagia or onychophagy, is unconscious, that means a person often do it without thinking. According to studies, the most severe consequence of nail biting is infections in the nail beds as the bacteria will have chances to transfer from the mouth to the fingers[2]. Nail biting may be associated with oral problems, such as malocclusion of the anterior teeth and gingival injury. In toddlers, since their immune system is still weak, bacteria can even enter their body and develop influenza or cold. Continual nail biting also makes nail-surrounding skin sore and bleeding, which leads to the damage of tissues that influence nails to grow, resulting in nail malformations. If you are an adult with nail-biting habit and want to break it, or if you have a child who keeps biting his nails for longer than you expect, this article will reveal to you 10 best ways on how to stop nail biting habit in toddlers & adults for good. Keep reading this article on Effective Remedies to find out the best way for your problem or your child’s problem.

10 Best Ways On How To Stop Nail Biting Habit In Toddlers & Adults For Good

how to stop nail biting in toddlers - toddlers

1. Patiently Explain

For children, in any circumstance, parents should talk and explain in a calm and patient manner. Gently tell them about the harm that they may encounter while biting their nails, and state that they may be sick if continuing to do so. Anger and punishment are not the way to solve the problem. It only causes the situation to become worse because the kids will probably feel stressed and scared. Moreover, children tend to do the opposite of what they are forbidden; therefore, force is something parents must avoid in educating their children.

2. Do Not Save Praise

No child is unhappy when receiving compliments from parents. In the process of helping your child quit the nail biting habit, do not hesitate to give him praise when he has endured half a day or a day without biting his nails. If possible, you can even build a reward system. For example, make an agreement with your child about the milestones that he will have to overcome without biting. Once he completes the quota, you will present him with a small reward. In this way, your child will not be pressured; otherwise, he may treat it as a fun game of worthy prizes, and he will be more motivated to do it.

3. Avoid Nail-Biting Deterrents

Nasty-tasting solutions, which are available in drugstores or cosmetic shops, are safe to digest. Unfortunately, your youngster may not comprehend the relationship between the appearance of that terrible taste on his nails and the stop biting thing. More seriously, they will think about this as a discipline method, regardless of whether you mean it or not, and refuse to cooperate with you.

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4. Apply Bitter-Flavor Nail Polish

Unlike toddlers, adults have enough awareness to distinguish what to do and what not to do, so a bitter-flavor nail polish will most likely work as its foul taste will make a person reconsider before biting, from that gradually break this nervous habit[3].

5. Frequently Manicure

Spend time and money at a nail salon for gorgeous nails, you will not be able to bite your nails if you want to keep them always beautiful, and we make sure that you will not want to waste the money you spent.

6. Keep Hands And Mouth Busy

Whenever you have a craving for gnawing your nails, try to find something that helps ward off your hands from your mouth. For instance, play with a stress ball, a Silly Putty (a kind of silicone-based toy), chew gum are all feasible ways to keep your hands and mouth busy. Thus your attention will shift to another point.

7. Bring Along Nail Clippers

One of the causes of your biting habit is because your nails are too long or the surrounding skin is peeling and scratching. Carry a pair of nail clippers with you will allow you to immediately trim off any raggedy bit of nail or skin that annoys you and you will not think about biting your nails anymore.

8. Trim Short Nails

Cutting the nails short is the simplest and primary tip on how to prevent nail biting, and an effective way for both children and elderly people[4]. If your nails are neat and tidy enough that you cannot bite them, you will find this action no longer satisfy and then give up.

9. Use Sticker Notes

With adults and children who have learned to read, this might be handy management. Put sticky notes with the content of stop nail biting habit on the fridge, wardrobe or anywhere else in your house that you can easily see; you will steadily remember those repetitive reminders and somewhat endeavor to follow them.

10. Identify Triggers

There are many reasons for you to bite your nails.  Studies have indicated that people often bite their nails when they are hungry, bored, nervous, or stressed[5]. By determining what inspires you to do that, it will be more convenient to find out the appropriate solutions to cope with the habit.

Any habit can be difficult to break; nail biting is no exception. You need assertiveness and perseverance to dispose of this routine completely. However, in some cases, nail-biting connects with psychological disorders[6] [7]. If you have made an effort to quit biting, but the situation does not improve, talk to your doctor to get timely advice. Last but not least, do not forget to leave a comment to share with us your ideas about how to stop nail biting habit in toddlers & adults for good.

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