Maybe your child is the one with a pacifier always in their mouth. Perhaps they’re a little one that uses a bottle when they’re definitely old enough to drink from a cup. While these little intricacies can be simply how you choose to raise your children, and frankly, no one else’s business; when it comes to nail biting, it may be a hygiene issue worth looking into to keep your son or daughter as healthy as possible.
Slate.com reveals that nail biting often occurs when the child is nervous, scared, or even bored and just fidgeting. Some use it as a means to trim their nails, while others bite them so excessively that they barely have any nails left. No matter how often or why your child bites their fingernails, experts all agree that aside from not being the most elegant habit, it’s a massive hygiene issue as well.
Biting your nails instantly exposes the body to additional germs that become trapped under the nail bed, and then left to fester inside the mouth, which is a warm, wet place that is absolutely ideal for bacteria to breed. If the germs make it far enough inside the mouth to be swallowed, then a whole plethora of illnesses can begin to develop inside. All of this is 100% totally preventable if you just don’t allow the nail biting to occur in the first place. Once your child starts to engage in the habit, how in the world do you get them to stop?
Most parents find success in one of these methods:
- Painting the nails with clear polish so the child no longer wants to bite them
- Buying one of those chewable necklaces for the child to use as a distraction until they fully stop
- Explaining to the child what a dirty habit it is, with the hopes that they’ll want to stop simply based on how gross it is
- Use a reward system for every week the child doesn’t bite their nails, it should be pretty simple to see if they’ve stopped as the nails will visibly be longer.
Try not to become to upset as a parent over this issue, as it’s an extremely common habit that millions of parents are battling with their little ones. It takes a little patience, and maybe a Hotwheels car or a few lollipops to conquer!