It is a common habit in both children and adults.
Nail biting can be defined as a type of behavioral disorder or impulse control disorder that usually starts from the age of 3-4. If nail biting has become a habit, the underlying cause of the behavior should be looked at.
Oral period can be attributed to psycho-sexual developmental disorder. These are: under or over feeding, prolonged breastfeeding, problematic relationship with the mother.
It is the behaviors he does to cope with the feelings and thoughts he feels in the face of events. The child experiences stress, fear, worry and anxiety. At the same time, he is faced with acts such as humiliation, criticism and punishment. When the family constantly warns about biting their nails, it puts pressure on the child and can cause him to bite his nails all the time. This is one of the reasons why it becomes a habit.
Nail biting habits can sometimes turn into habits such as lip biting, hair curling, sniffing, and pen biting. Sometimes, a child who sees someone who bites nails in his family or close environment may choose to model/imitate this behavior.
Harms of Nail Biting:
In case of swallowing his nails, discomfort such as stomach infection may occur. Many infectious diseases can occur due to the constant contact of the nails with the mouth. There may also be deterioration in the jaw joint and tooth structure.
So what should we do in this situation?
Cut and manicure your nails regularly. This also prevents your aesthetic perception and exposure to social exclusion.
You can use materials that will keep your hands busy (playing with a small ball or dough).
Doing handicrafts and chewing gum in your mouth keep your hands and mouth busy.
Cover nails with a band-aid. You can get colorful band-aids or picture band-aids for kids to have more fun.
You can apply nail polishes that are painful to your nails.
If the habit of nail biting continues despite all this, nail biting can be treated with cognitive and behavioral therapy approaches.