4. Washing your hands doesn’t help
In a BBC article, researchers discovered that washing your hands with persistent scrubbing doesn’t sterilize your nails. Also, “significant numbers of bacteria in…this hand region may be relatively inaccessible to antimicrobial agents during normal hand-washing.” That’s right – the vomit-inducing and diarrhea-provoking bacteria can’t be easily banished with a thorough hand washing.
5. Biting your nails can harm your smile
Children and adults who bite their nails run the risk of chipping, cracking or wearing down their teeth, according to the Academy of General Dentistry. They also warn that nail-biters are more susceptible to bruxism – or the “unintentional grinding or clenching that causes facial headaches, tooth sensitivity, recessed gums and tooth loss.”
If you chew your nails, you certainly aren’t alone. About half of the worldwide population starts biting their nails around age 10, but most stop at age 30, according to WebMD. If knowing what horrors are lurking under your nails isn’t enough reason to stop, talk to your doctor about other ways you can kick the habit.