Today’s Wonder of the Day was inspired by Maui. Maui Wonders, “Is biting your nails bad for your body?” Thanks for WONDERing with us, Maui!
Do you have any bad habits? None of us is perfect, so chances are, you probably answered Yes to that question. Perhaps you put off doing your homework until the last minute. Or maybe you indulge in junk food a little too often. Or you might engage in a bad habit that looks innocent enough that many people may not notice it at all. What are we talking about? Biting your nails!
Have you ever bitten your nails? If you're a kid, chances are you probably have. Biting your nails is a common reaction to stress, boredom, frustration, loneliness, and anxiety.
In fact, experts estimate that 60% of all children bite their nails from time to time. By the time they're teenagers, that number is down to 45%. The percentage of people who bite their nails continues to decrease into adulthood. However, many adults still struggle with this bad habit.
Because it becomes a habit, many children and adults don't even realize when they're biting their nails. Since many people have bitten their nails for so long, they don't even think about the problems it can cause.
Your fingernails are important tools. In addition to protecting your fingertips, your fingernails also come in very handy when picking up tiny objects and scratching itches in hard-to-reach places. That's why it's important to keep your fingernails strong and healthy.
Biting your nails makes them susceptible to infections. When you bite your nails, they become broken, torn, and unsightly. When the skin around your nails becomes compromised, germs can get into your body and cause a variety of problems.
And that's not the only way biting your nails can be unhealthy. Think about the things you touch on a daily basis. From doorknobs and toilet seats to dogs and gym socks, we touch a wide variety of things every day that can lead to germs lurking beneath our fingernails. Unless you wash your hands constantly, biting your nails can transfer harmful germs directly into your mouth where they can make you very sick.
If nail biting has become a bad habit, can you break it? You bet you can! The first step is to become aware of when you're biting your nails. Ask friends and family members to help point out when they notice you biting your nails. When you notice or someone else points out that you're biting your nails, stop biting them and transfer your attention to doing something else.
If you're unable to stop using only your willpower, don't fret. Bad habits can be hard to break. Fortunately, there are tools available to help you. For example, some people who are trying to stop biting their nails will paint them with a special colorless nail polish. This special polish makes you nails taste awful, helping you to break the habit!