Everyone knows that nail biting is a bad habit, and that it has the potential to cause teeth to become crooked and misaligned. However, that's not the only possible negative result of biting your nails. If you've noticed that your teeth appear to be worn down, uneven, or one is shorter than the surrounding teeth, it may be due to nail biting. Read on to learn how this happens and what you can do to restore the appearance of your teeth.
How Nail Biting Harms Teeth
The very first time you bite your nails, no real damage is done to your teeth. Teeth are strong and designed to be able to bite through and tear away at food. However, nail biting is a chronic habit that could have you chewing nervously on your nails multiple times per day. Since nails are strong and very thin, they require a great deal of pressure to chew off. This pressure is exerted directly onto your teeth, which can damage them.
There are two possible ways for teeth to be damaged by nail biting: chipping and becoming worn down. If one or more of your teeth appears to be dramatically uneven, chances are they're chipped. However, if your teeth simply appear shortened or rough at the edge, they're most likely just worn down. Thankfully, there are two easy ways that a cosmetic dentist can help you with these problems.
Veneers are one possible solution that work for either chipped or worn-down teeth. Veneers are thin layers of tooth-colored porcelain that are hand-picked to match your surrounding teeth. Your dentist simply cleans your teeth and then adheres the veneer to the front of your damaged tooth or teeth. This gives your tooth a completely restored appearance, hiding the damage from view when you smile. The process is quick and painless and requires no drilling, which is a plus for most patients.
Another option is to have your teeth bonded by a cosmetic dentist. Bonding is another name for a filling. However, while fillings are typically designed to simply repair the damage to your teeth, bonding is designed to do so while simultaneously restoring the appearance of your damaged teeth.
The good thing about bonding is that it not only corrects the appearance of your teeth but it will also help to protect them from further damage. While it's ideal for you to stop biting your nails, if it's a habit you absolutely cannot break, the bonding will help to prevent further wear and tear on your teeth.
Nail biting has plenty of negative side effects that nobody wants to subject their teeth to. If you've already been biting your nails for a long time and don't want it to be obvious to anyone you smile at that you're a nail biter, talk to a cosmetic dentist about veneers or bonding. For more information, contact a local dentist office like The Family Dentist.