How to (Finally) Quit Biting Your Nails

We’ve all bitten our nails. Stress, boredom, or even nervous excitement can lead us to give in to this old habit without even realizing what we are doing. For many people, nail biting starts in childhood. For some, it never stops. A habit that has been building for so long can be incredibly difficult to overcome; but it is possible, and there are good reasons to kick the habit. Grinding from nail biting will damage your teeth over time, and each time you bite your nails you risk damage and infection. In order to look your best and keep your teeth and fingers healthy, you must take the steps necessary to end this tempting habit.

Hopefully this list of tips will get you going in the right direction.

Identify Triggers

The first part of battling your habit is finding out when you do most of your nail biting. Be mindful of your own behavior and write down what you are doing when you catch yourself chewing on your nails. You will likely see a pattern develop. Maybe you bite when you are “zoned-out” or bored. Maybe you bite when you are studying for a test. Knowing is half the battle. If you know what situations trigger your biting, you will better be able to take action against it.

Distract Yourself

Now that you know what triggers your nail biting, you can create techniques to help you avoid the habit. If your biting is brought on by stress, try meditating when things get overwhelming. Yoga, deep breathing, or using a stress ball can also help you handle your habit. You can even try chewing on gum if you need to bite on something.

Regularly Trim Your Nails

Beat your habit to the punch. You can’t bite your nails off if they are already the trimmed down (it would take more effort at least). Trim your nails once a week to your desired length. This will help deter you from using nail biting sessions in place of trimming with a proper tool. Once you get into a nail trimming routine you may find that you are tempted to bite them less.

Cover Your Nails

If the above suggestions aren’t working for you, there are more extreme methods available (don’t worry, not too extreme). A great option is to cover your nails so that it is not physically possible to bite them. This can be done by wearing gloves or wrapping bandages around your fingertips. For full effect, you will want to keep your nails covered for a couple of weeks. My Grandma always told me it takes two weeks to break a habit.

Feel free to take over your gloves or bandages while you shower and sleep. Fake nails are also a great, but more permanent, option if you are looking to cover your nails.


Regular manicures from Threads will help you in a couple of ways. First of all, they keep your nails trimmed and looking great. Second, they deter you from biting your nails because you don’t want to ruin something that you have invested money and time in. Once you see how great your nails look, you will have extra motivation to keep them healthy and looking their best.

Apply a Deterrent

Your local pharmacy likely sells a bitter tasting nail biting polish created to help you kick the habit. Obviously, the polishes’ flavor is meant to keep you from biting your nails, so it tastes nasty. It may not be a pleasant experience, but it is certainly effective.

Ask Friends/Family for Help

This is an easy one. Simply ask a person you spend a lot of time around to let you know when you are biting your nails. They can verbally let you know, or you can have them slap your hand away, whatever better gets it into your head that you need to stop biting.

Talk To Your Doctor

If all of the advice listed above fails, it is a good idea to see your doctor if your nail biting is extreme. It could be a symptom of bigger underlying issues.

It is going to take a lot of will power, but if you stick to the advice from this blog, you should be able to kick your nail biting habit sooner than later. Set up an appointment for a manicure at Threads to get your habit breaking started the right way.

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