Nail biting nail polish is a cosmetics product designed to help people stop the habit of biting their nails. It contains an unpleasant flavoring agent that makes biting nails a negative experience. Generally, the flavors are either bitter or sour and painfully spicy, like an extremely lemony, burning hot pepper. Nail biting nail polish comes in the form of a liquid that is applied to the nail like regular nail polish.
This product is similar to products made to help train a child to stop sucking his thumb, but it is generally applied only on the nail, while products designed to control thumb sucking are spread all over the thumb. Though this type of product can be effective in stopping nail biting, some nail biting nail polish products perform better than others. With some brands, the flavoring agent can come off on other things that touch the polish, making nail biting nail polish a problematic method for nail biters who cook or eat food with their hands. The polish tends to be ineffective for people who have persistent nail biting habits and are still apt to bite their nails if the unpleasant flavor is not strong enough. Some parents try to steer clear of pepper-based, painful nail biting nail polish preparations when using them for children.
Stopping the habit of nail biting is important because continued nail biting can cause long-term or serious health and dental issues. Problems that can occur as a result of nail biting include tooth breakage and increased propensity to mouth bacteria. It can also lead to indirect consequences, like more frequent illnesses, especially if the hands are not kept clean. An instant of contact with a school desk that was recently sneezed on can put pathogens on and under the nails. When the nails are bitten, these pathogens can go straight into the mouth.
Nail biting nail polish is one of many ways people stop habitual nail biting, and some of these methods can be used in combination with nail biding nail polish. Other methods include obstructing the nails or providing rewards for not biting nails. Obstructing nails can be done by wearing gloves or by wrapping the nails in cloth tape. A reward system to combat a nail biting habit for a child might include a payment, from a nickel to a dollar, when nail biting has not occurred for a predetermined period of time. Providing daily, weekly and monthly rewards can help give nail biters, especially kids, a good reason to break the habit.