8 Hacks That Will Help You Stop Biting Your Nails

Nail biting. It’s one of those things that so many of us do that it really doesn’t seem like such a bad habit. I’m sorry to say that it’s still not the greatest. Not only does it ruin your manicure, it spreads germs, could mess up your mouth, and it could even cause an infection. Those are probably enough reasons to make you want to quit your “okay” habit, huh?

I know that quitting nail biting is not easy. The reason it’s classified as a habit is because we do it all of the time. That means that it’s part of regular routine, making it all the more difficult to quit. If you’ve tried quitting nail biting before and you’ve gone back to it, it’s okay. You’re not a failure. The key thing is that you genuinely want to give up nail biting and you’re willing to try again.

When you’re trying to stop, you might start gnawing on a pinkie nail one day. Recognize that you’re doing it, but don’t beat yourself up about it. Just focus on stopping. With that in mind, here are eight easy hacks to stop biting your nails.

Try To Identify When You're Biting Your Nails

Figuring out whether there is a pattern to your nail biting can make it easier to stop it. For example, do you only bite your nails at school? Do you do it when you're stressed? Do you do it when you're bored? Do you do it when your nails are too long? If you can identify the reasons, you can try and make different lifestyle choices to stop the biting.

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Wear Gloves

You probably cannot do this all of the time, but it can be helpful when you can. If you're a nail bitter when you're at home, pop on gloves. They can be any type: mittens, leather gloves, rubber gloves, your mom's gardening gloves. Wear whatever covers up your nails but still allows you to go about your business. It makes your nails harder to get at which forces you to think about removing the gloves.

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Chew Gum Or Suck On Mints

I know that this might seem like a random one, but it can help. If you find that you're the type of person that needs something in your mouth when you're stressed, you can try popping a piece or gum or mint in your mouth. Hopefully, having something in there will stop the desire to bite your nails. When you stop thinking about chewing them, you can slowly wean yourself off the gum and mints so you don't become addicted to those.

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Get A Manicure

The great thing about a manicure is that you get to indulge while helping to stop the habit. You could get some fancy nail art or you could get acrylics. Try and choose something that's so pretty that you will never dream of biting it. Hopefully, every time you look at your freshly lacquered nails, you will think they're too pretty and cost too much to bite. Then you will keep your teeth where they belong. If you're broke, you can give yourself a DIY manicure. It should have the same impact because you'll think about the time it took to make your nails all nice and not chew them

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Put On An Anti-Biting Treatment

You might have heard of this one. They have these nail biting treatments that taste disgusting AF so one lick of them should be enough to make you stop biting your nails. Just remember to keep applying it. Ulta has Mavala Stop ($16.50) which will hopefully help you reduce your biting.

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Put Bandages Or Thimbles On Your Fingers

Do you chew all of your finger nails or only specific ones? This is easy to do if you only chew a few nails, but you can still do it if you have a good supply of bandages and/or thimbles. It's like the gloves one where you cover up your nails which makes them harder to get access to. When you're ripping off a bandage, it will make you aware you're about to engage in your bad habit, so you will likely stop.

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Try An At-Home Remedy

If you don't want to pay for some fancy anti-biting nail treatment, you can make do with what you have in your house. Rubbing garlic on your hands in one way to stop the temptation to chew. Don't worry, you won't smell like a big bulb of garlic. The taste of garlic should only linger on your hands so you'll notice it when you go to bite, but it won't be so overpowering that it keeps your friends away.

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Post Reminders

Do you find that you're subconsciously biting your nails without realizing it? You can make yourself more conscious of the habit by adding regular alerts to your email or phone reminding you to stop biting. You can also ask friends and family to help you out. If they're fellow nail bitters, you can come up with a buddy system of looking out for each other. And don't forget about how effective putting a poster on your wall with "No biting" in big bold letters can be.

Image source: Getty

Are you a nail bitter? What have you done to stop biting your nails? Let us know in the comments!

You can follow the author, Heather Cichowski, on Twitter.


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