Nail biting is an awful habit that can be quite difficult to stop. Most nail biters try everything they can, from disgusting themselves to putting garlic on their nails, but are still not able to leave it. About 20 to 30% of people in every age group bite their nails with teenagers being the biggest group of nail biters.

Interestingly, scientists have still not come to any exact conclusions on why people bite their nails. It’s a bad habit, a filthy obsession with rather unhealthful consequences. Some say people bite their nails out of boredom, loneliness, habit, frustration or stress. Others think it is an indication of anxiety or obsessive-compulsive disorder.

Yet others are of the view that perfectionists bite their nails. Since we put things, particularly our hands, in mouths since childhood its also an issue of impulse control. Perhaps, for everyone there are different reasons behind why they bite their nails.

Regardless of the cause, the habit should be controlled, stopped! Wondering why and what reasons you can give to yourself to persuade that nail biting needs to go? Here are 9 reasons you should immediately stop biting your nails:

1 – It can permanently change the shape of your nails

If your habit of nail biting has been going on for years, it has probably already caused a permanent change to your nails’ shape. Long-term nail biting can shorten the nail bed which may never be of a normal size again. When you quit biting, your nails often grow unevenly.

Or they may have an uneven texture with ridges and bumps on the surface. People who were once nail biters may have noticed how there is a difference between their nails and those of others.

2 – It exposes you to a plethora of germs

Of course, there is a great risk of various kinds of diseases if you bite your nails. Your hands touch various people and things and all that dirt and bacteria sits in the nails. When you bite your nails, you eat up all of these which can cause a serious health issue.

Just think about all the places your hands go all day long and quit the habit – to the toilet, shaking hands with other people, and touching things in public places. This is also why you should be more mindful of washing your hands regularly if you are a nail biter.

3 – It can damage your teeth

Your teeth are not meant for the purpose of chewing your nails. So, it doesn’t come off as a surprise that nail biting can cause harm to your teeth. Not only it can shift your teeth which can bring on the need for braces or retainers, it can also cause your teeth to get chipped. In fact, tooth loss is also possible! So, keep your teeth busy at only eating your meals, not your nails.

4 – It can cause warts on fingers and the face

Next up, you should most definitely stop biting your nails because it can cause facial warts. Basically, people who are nail biters are more likely to get warts on their fingers because this infection tends to enter through the cuts that biting fingernails causes.

A wart on one finger can spread to other fingers when you put one fingernail in your mouth and then another. Because the fingernail goes in your mouth, there is also a likelihood of warts forming around your mouth or on your face.

5 – It can harm your gums

As mentioned above, many germs and bacteria are led to your mouth owing to this unhealthy habit. Like your teeth, it can also cause damage to your gums. It can cause different kinds of gum diseases because of exposure to various germs. You may develop sores or other gum problems. Furthermore, did you know that nail biters are more likely to have bad breath? Gross.

6 – It can cause hangnails and ingrown nails

Yet another reason quitting nail biting should be your agenda this year is that it can cause hangnails and ingrown nails. A hangnail is when you bite more than you should and the torn skin at the base appears. The area is often sore from all the trauma and the best target for infections. Ingrown nails are when nails grow under the skin which can be painful with swelling and require surgery.

7 – It can up the risk of toxic poisoning

If you wear nail polish regularly and consume its chemicals every time you bite your nails that’s a problem. You are letting so many harmful toxins inside. However, when you are a fan of gel nail polishes and bite those off too, you are at the risk of toxic poisoning which can be problematic. The issue may not be obvious immediately but can have major long-term effects.

8 – It can gross other people out

Nail biting is disgusting and basically, that should be reason enough for you to quit it. Your broken and dirty nails which you keep chewing on are not exactly a good sight which is why people can be highly disgusted by the habit. Not just the habit, if your nails are deformed and bitten awfully much, that’s a major turn off to many of the people who notice them.

9 – It can make others think of you as weak

Nail biting is a display of your low confidence, that you are uncomfortable with your situation or insecure about something. Well, at least many people think of it like that. After all, the habit for many is a way to relieve the stress or anxiety they are feeling.

If someone notices your triggers, this person can use these against you. So, don’t give other people a chance to deduce your personality based on a bad habit or give them a reason to think less of you.

This sums up our list of reasons you should immediately stop nail biting. Do you have more info to add?