Have you ever been bored or anxious? How about feeling stressed or awkward? Sometimes, biting your nails can relieve these emotions.

Kermit the Frog biting his nails

However, biting your nails can turn into a bad habit that can:

  • Damage your cuticles and cause an infection around your nails

  • Spread disease and cause you to become sick

  • Damage your teeth

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If you're a nail-biter, you may want to find ways to stop it.

1. Trim Your Nails

One way to stop biting your nails is to keep them short. Experts recommend trimming your nails every week or two.

A football player biting the nails of a giant hand.

The idea is to decrease temptation. Think about it:

  • You won't be able to bite your nails if they can't be bitten.

  • It will be less gratifying.

2. Put Something On Your Nails

Cartoon fox making  disgusted face

Another way to stop nail biting is to coat your nails with bad-tasting flavors or flavors you don't enjoy, such as:

  • Bitter-tasting nail polish

  • Salt

  • Something hot or spicy (like jalapenos)

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Although these ideas may seem silly, they could also work to avoid nail biting:

  • Wearing gloves

  • Putting stickers on your nails

3. Identify Your Triggers

Are you aware of when you bite your nails?

Man biting his nails at a sports event.

  • Figure out when you tend to bite your nails.

  • Pay attention to how you feel when you want to start biting your nails.

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After identifying your triggers, you can devise a plan to stop your nail-biting habit.


Emily wants to stop biting her nails. She bites them so low that they're starting to hurt. What's one way to help Emily stop biting her nails?

Take Action

Nail-bitting is very common, and multiple ways exist to stop the habit.

A cartoon child says,

To learn more about the effects of nail biting and habits, check out the links and article below.


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