Tips to Stop Biting Your Nails

I’ve been biting my nails for as long as I can remember. I do it subconsciously most of the time, so it’s been really hard to stop. When my brother’s wedding was getting closer, I tried everything because I couldn’t really afford to put tips on. By the time the wedding rolled around, I still had very short nails, but at least they weren’t bitten down to the quick! Here are a few tips to help you stop biting your nails. Some worked for me, some are tips that others swear by. Hopefully they will help you have gorgeous nails in no time…or at least something a little more elegant that scraggly stubs!

Tips to Stop Biting Your Nails

  • Keep your hands busy. Idle hands are the nail-biters playthings! Keep your hands busy as much as possible. I type most of the day,but at night when I’m watching TV, I have to constantly eat something to keep my hands out of my mouth. Of course, that’s not good either! I try to chew gum or eat sugar-free mints. If you’re crafty, try taking up knitting!
  • Make them taste bad. Some people swear by nasty tasting polishes or gunk that you can put on your nails. My mom even suggested hot sauce. I just get used to the taste though. Then again, any flavor on your nails should send a signal to your brain that you’re biting your nails again if you do it unknowingly.
  • Paint them…then eat the polish! Okay, I know how ridiculous that sounds, but this is what worked for me the best. I paint them with non-toxic clear paint, then scrape the polish off instead of biting my nails. Hey, when you’re desperate, you’ll try anything!
  • Paint them, but don’t eat the polish! You could take the more logical route and just paint them a pretty color so you’re more likely to avoid ruining the paint job.
  • Pay for a manicure. When you’re shelling out money to make your nails look better, you’ll think twice about sticking them in your mouth. I managed to go from Weds-Saturday without biting because I didn’t want my $20 manicure to look cruddy for the wedding.
  • Remind yourself of the dangers of biting your nails. Your hands come into contact with like a zillion germs every day, and I highly doubt you always remember to wash them before you stick them in your mouth. Aside from the potential germs that you’re ingesting, biting your nails can also cause infection if you’re biting the skin too. Nail biting can also cause dental problems. So really, it’s much more unhealthy than you might think!
  • Enlist help.Between my mom, my friends, and my boyfriend, any time I started biting my nails someone was there to remind me to stop. Tell everyone you know that you’re trying to stop biting your nails, and ask them to go to extreme measures if necessary to get your hands away from your face!
  • Pin inspirational photos on Pinterest.My Awesome Hair and Makeup board on Pinterest is filled with really cool nail art that I’d love to be able to do one day. None of them would look good on short, stubby nails, so if you want to actually try them, you need to stop biting your nails.

I admit, although I managed to go a week without biting my nails, I’m starting to fall back into the bad habit. I have to be really conscious of my nail biting right now because I finally have little ones and I don’t want to lose them all. Do you have a favorite trick to stop biting your nails? I’d love to hear about it in the comments!

About Nicole Etolen

13 Responses to “Tips to Stop Biting Your Nails”

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  1. Jessica B says:

    I, too, am a lifelong nail biter (apparently it started when my house burned down two days before my eighth birthday). I, like you, have managed to get used to every foul tasting paint I could find. My daughter (almost 14) recently stopped biting her nails (now has long daggers growing out of her fingers) by getting braces, and then moving into a retainer, but as my teeth are fine, and braces are wicked expensive – I don’t think that’ll work for me!

  2. Cheryl says:

    I’ve never been a nail biter but my husband sure is – maybe I can convince him to try some of these!

  3. I’m glad that’s not one of my habits, but I’m thinking a manicure would stop me from biting!

  4. mel says:

    What great ideas. I used to bite my nails all the time. This would have helped!

  5. Kecia says:

    I bit my nails from the time I was 3-4 until about 4 months ago. I had tried several things, but I wish I had this list! What did it for me was deciding that I wanted nice nails for the blogging conference I attended in June…yes, it was as simple as that! I haven’t bit them since, and they look better and healthier than they ever have!

  6. Oh I seriously am so glad I have never started this habit, because it is such a hard one to quit! I pay very close attention to my kids too to try to help them not create it either. Those are great tips to help someone who is struggling with biting their nails.

  7. I am a habitual nail bitter, I have tried SO many ways to stop. I am going to have to try the paint them AND eat the polish! lol

  8. Allyson Bossie says:

    I bit my nails until Junior High School. When my Home Ec Teacher mentioned how disappointed she was that I bit my nails I stopped lol. Great suggestions for stopping though!

  9. I used to bite my nails a long time ago but I’ve since outgrown it. It is a tough habit to break and these are great tips!

  10. This is great! I do it when I am watching intense movies!!

  11. Sofia says:

    I used to bite my nails. I really didn’t try any of the tips you mentioned…I heard about them but never tried them. My mom constantly told me to put garlic on my nails so that the smell/taste would make me stop. What stopped me from biting my nails was my (then boyfriend) husband saw my nails almost half way gone off my fingers (it was that bad). I felt so embarrassed that ever since I stopped. Now I pick on my cuticles which is still bad…but at least I have long nails now!

    Thanks for the tips! 😀

  12. I have bitten my nails my entire life, up until recently. When I started taking anti-anxiety medication, I quit biting my nails. I had often wondered if it was just due to stress and a way to manage it. Still not sure, but I have kicked that horrible habit!

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