Are you an Onychophagist?

by: Sandy Johnson

If you are, this post may cause you to start biting your nails. Onychophagia is the clinical word for nail biting, a common habit that many people develop when they are children. Like hair twirling or finger tapping, it’s usually done unconsciously. 

More than just bad for your nails and aesthetic, nail biting is also bad for your teeth. Most nail biters want to quit, but just can’t seem to kick the habit. Here are three things you can try to help you quit for good. 
Use a deterrent:

There are several products you can apply to your nails that deliver a nasty taste when you try to bite them. You can find these at almost any drug store, and they are very inexpensive. Because you probably don’t even notice when you are biting, it’s a great way to get your own attention.

Carry a set of clippers:
1. It’s difficult to bite your nails when they are well groomed, so carry a set of clippers in your pocket or purse. If you feel a sharp spot or edge on your nails, use the clippers before you have a chance to chew them.
2. Distraction your hands:
Try twirling a pen or squeezing a stress ball. Busy hands rarely make it to your mouth, so keep them occupied with something else. Not only will you bite your nails less, you’ll also improve your hand strength and dexterity!

Do you have other ideas to help someone quit biting their nails? Share them in the comments.

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