How to stop nail biting?

Hi, I have a question for the moms who’s kids are nail biters. My 4 year old son bites his nails really bad. Every time I catch him I tell him to stop and he does. But his nails look so horrible there’s almost nothing there. It looks bad I’ve tried discipline didn’t work also tried doing the reward route if he let them grow and stop biting he’d get something special. Also bought a pen off amazon that you brush on his nails and it tastes gross but it didn’t really seem to work. He has an appointment with his doctor tomorrow so i’ll definitely bring it up but it’s getting ridiculous. His fingers look like if he continues they’ll be infected or something. Wondering what you moms do?


What about hot pepper juice on his finger tips or hot sauce? A lot of those bitter yuck type thugs don’t work. I used to bite mine constantly. My fiancé bites his til they bleed even. I used hot pepper juice because I don’t do spicy stuff in general and hate the taste. It may work for you and your boy

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Any idea why he’s bitting them? I chew my nails when I’m stressed or finances are on my mind. I can months with long nail then bam; I’m chewing away then stop.

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Find out what the real problem is. IT goes deeper than the nails. Nail biting is a nervous habit


I’ve bitten my nails since i was little :frowning: it’s an anxiety thing for me.

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It was an anxiety issue for me when I was little and still is. Mainly anxiousness, worry, nervousness. My 10 year old boy has been showing signs of anxiety and bites his nails. whenever I see him showing signs of anxiety we go for a walk, ride his bike, scooter etc… it helps him get his mind off the nail biting. Do be careful on what you put on his fingers to make him stop… because they can get infected and it is extremely painful…

Most nail biters have anxiety. I would find out why he is doing this, not punish him for something he can’t control.


Is he being bullied at school?

The way my mother got me to stop was having me wear mittens and Honestly it worked. I have yet to actually have to use this on a child but I know it worked for myself and my siblings. It even got my brother and sister to stop thumb sucking

Dont say hot sauce that to cruel ss others have said maybe he stresses about stuff. Found out what that could be

My grandson picked at a little sore on his forehead & he did this for a complete year at school when school was out it stopped . It was because of his teacher , you need to find out what is really bothering him good luck


my son bit his nails … it made me sad bc our family was going thru a very stressful time and that was a sign to me that it was affecting him… he doesn’t bite his nails anymore ty Jesus. he’s 4

it’s anxiety . the baby can’t help it. try to figure out what’s upsetting him.

Have bitten my nails since I was like 3. Nervous habit. 24 and still do it

Anxiety. My 8 year old was doing it and suddenly stopped when we started CBD oil. Thats not why we started, it was just a bonus.


Im 30 this month and still do it. Have done since before kindy.
The only thing that helps me is nail polish I can scratch off instead.

When I was a child I bit my nails to give me something to help me get through my social anxiety, I broke the habit with this nail polish, but I now put my hands on my face and am bad at eye contact. Wish i could have gotten help back then for it

It’s usually from anxiety. I would talk to his pediatrician about it.

Thats a nervous condition talking to the doctor is wise

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I quit biting my nails in my 20’s

I bit my nails for years. They would bleed sometimes. Anxiety was my issue, when I finally stopped I picked at my cuticles. It is a nervous anxiety thing. Took forever to heal the skin I kept tearing at. Ho pe your doctor has some advice, my parents didn’t do anything. My nails took forever to grow past the end of my finger. I had destroyed the quick (sp?).

My just turned 5 year old started doing this last year. It is social situations, his father and I are pretty outgoing and I think it just makes him uncomfortable at this stage of life. Touring kindergarten and having to leave us I was so worried he would have nothing left!! Shortly after I talked with his ped and mentioned it. She said to try redirection when we see him doing it. Like hey, can you find 10 things that are blue?? Kind of like eye spy. Doing this and not calling out the habit has helped. He totally stops when we mention but tends to revert when no one is looking. This is a new strategy we are trying and although it still happens this does help. :heart: I bit mine as a child and grew out of it so I am not overly concerned but I know the feeling of wanting to be the best we can be for our babes. Good luck momma, I hope this helps. :heart:

I bit my nails until I was about 30. It’s an anxiety thing. Most of the time, you don’t even realize that you are doing it. Getting mad at him, and pressuring him to stop, is only going to make it worse.

Anxiety/ nervous habit. I’ll be 23 next month and I’ve been biting my nails since I was 3/4yrs old.

that’s a common sign of anxiety. have you tried giving him a fidgit spinner/ small toy? worth a shot

Hot sauce will stop them. But talk to the doct

I bite them when im nervous…now i put on nail polish and peal it off instead of bitting my nails.

Can be an early sign of anxiety I still struggle with it. Maybe get him chewy fidget toy?

I bite my nails. Always have. Also…my 9 year old does as well and always has. I would tell him to stop and he would do it anyway. Dont punish him because he bites his kid has all the toys all the habit correcting gadgets, and bites his nails. No one is worried, doctor has zero issues with it.

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That’s a sign of Anxiety


I wish I knew! I’m 35 and still bite mine. I know it’s gonna hurt and I still do it. Maybe instead of filling foods, try sunflower seeds to keep his hands busy. I hope you find a remedy.


Im 68 and i still bite mine. I’ve done it all my life.

It’s a sign of anxiety. Not judging but feeding him just because he bites his nails doesn’t make sense. That’s only going to cause another issue.


I’m almost 26 and I still do it. My parents literally tried everything. It’s part of my anxiety. I’ve bitten them until they bleed on several occasions

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I’m 28 and still bite my nails ugh I wish I could stop so I’m following this post for tips

I have used clear coat on my husband for his anxiety and A.D.D. lol it has worked. This Orly product looks like it may be a saving grace. But also a fidget toy may help. Do not overfeed it can cause later problems. Good luck to ya momma bear!


I used to bite my nails and I used no bite nail polish it taste like acetone I stopped biting them at age 16-17ish. I still bite my cuticles though. But my nails are much longer and stronger now.

When I was a kid I chewed my nails clean off. Most times until they bled. Many years later as an adult I had a therapist bring it to my attention that my nail biting was a way my anxiety was manifesting itself. It’s been a very difficult year for everyone but especially for children. Maybe have an open conversation about things he may be worried about. Maybe make a plan of other things he could do besides biting his nails when hes feeling anxious?

Get a stress Ball…let him squeeze that while watching tv .or something that keeps hands busy…

He will grow out of


I know it’s not great to bite your nails. However I didn’t know it was a big deal

We had horseradish put on our fingernails

Fidget toys for the hands or a chewy. Look up sensory toys on Amazon there are a lot of great ideas to get that extra sensory this little is looking for😉

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Try Chewelry. Silicone jewelry made to chew. My son liked to chew pens, legos, silicone bracelets, cords, whatever was in his hand while he was watching TV would end up getting gnawed on. He didn’t even notice he was doing it. I would reprimand him for chewing on something and he would get so upset because he said he didn’t notice he was even doing it and he couldn’t control it. I was constantly saying “get that out of your mouth” and he would stop, stunned for a minute because he wouldn’t even realize what he was doing until I pointed it out. This was around 8-9 years old. I got him the lego one and a shark tooth one. It was something safe to chew that I wouldn’t yell at him for and he was wearing it and fidgeting with it all the time so it was easily accessible. After a few months he stopped. I don’t know if it was a phase or if he was struggling through some anxiety and needed an outlet or what, but it was a good tool for us to give him something to safely chew without harming his teeth or whatever he had in his hand.


I used to catch my son doing it at times… I noticed it about 5 or 6… when I would see him do it, of course I would tell him not to do it and he would stop that moment but once I turned my back it continued. Then one day instead of telling him no, I decided to educate him on why I was telling him no… I decided to talk about the germs/feces/bacteria that are in your nails… I also showed him pictures of what his nails could look like if he continues… I showed him nails that were infected, nails that were distorted due to biting… and I asked him if that’s what he wanted his nails to look like… he was like no way… that’s ugly… he never bit his nails again… and he just turned 9 this week. If he sees his step brother, who’s older bite his nails… my son comes running to tell me… lol… What worked for my son may not work for everyone/child… however, I feel like the word NO isn’t always enough to change behavior, I feel like educating them as to why they shouldn’t do something helps them to understand why you want them to stop… good luck momma… parenting isn’t easy and at times I wish there was a manual to raising children… just don’t give up… and reinforce good behavior… :two_hearts::pray:t3:

I bite and picked my nails for over 25 years. I started at 3 and basically never stopped. I’m sure if my mom had tried to do something to stop it I would have gotten better with it sooner rather than later… I had to obstain for hours then days then it gets easier to stop

Tiana Walker Chloe Dalton who would have thought i may have had anxiety all these years?

I’m 33 and nothing has ever worked. I’ve tried everything. Nail bitter stuff. Cutting short. Its an anxiety thing (along with twirling my hair when its down) but I usually don’t bite where it hurts or going to cause my nails to stop growing and what not.


I did it my whole life until I started dental school at 23. I’m now almost 36. Once I learned and seen all the germs on our hands and especially under our nails that was it for me. I also showed/taught my 10 and 8 year olds and they wash their hands twice as much now and my 10 year old stopped biting as well. I didn’t think that would work on her but it did. Good luck

I’m 23 years old and just got aryclics for the first time ever. I still have this edge to bite my finger nails but I can’t because their fake now. It probably won’t help you but it’s nothing I struggle with my entire life, I literally chew at my fingers until they bleed then chewed around them :woman_facepalming:t2: the pain from it didn’t stop me. Watching TV made it 100% worse! My point is, he may never grow out of it. I didnt and if I didn’t have my nails done rn, I’d still be chewing them :woman_shrugging:t2:

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Get something called Bite X. It is like clear nail polish and tastes terrible. I used it to quit biting my nails when I was about 34.

I just now at 40 stopped biting my nails! It was a self soothing thing for me. I bit them down to very small sliver of nail lovingly referred to by my family as nubs. If it isn’t posing a true issue why is it so important to stop it.

Could be linked to anxiety? I do the same thing except I’m 23. Not to long ago I got this No bite nail polish, it goes on clear and tastes terrible! It doesn’t last very long though between washing hands and what not though so you have to stay motivated to keep re applying. It’s the closest thing I’ve gotten to stopping :relaxed:
You can also try fidget toys or things to keep the hands occupied so you’re less likely to do it. After doing it for so long sometimes you can’t even tell you’re doing it so try not to be to hard on him during the process.

I’m almost 30 and still bite my nails off and on.
It’s an anxiety thing unfortunately.

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Try fidget toys. It’s not his mouth that needs distraction ita his fingers

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I have 2 that do, I do as well. :woman_shrugging:

NIXXIT nail biting treatment works for us or just try putting nail polish remover on them that tastes disgusting :nauseated_face:

Chew gum or buy that clear nail polish made to stop nail biting it supposedly tastes horrible so after a while they’ll stop trying to bite their nails cause the taste is disgusting

Try putting nasty flavours on his fingers so he wont do it

It seems to run in the family. My SO does it. And my 3yo has started doing it. :sob:

Give him something to fidget with that he can chew if he feels the need.

Maybe have him wear gloves? Fidget stuff for his fingers, stress balls, therapist for anxiety.

I’m 35 and still bite my nails. I had stopped myself for the longest time but then I had a stillborn. My life has gone to the crapper since so I’m not as worried about my nail biting as I used to be. He’s the one that’s got to make the mental choice to figure out his patterns and if he wants to stop.

Help a mama out and respond anonymously on our forum. How to stop nail biting?

You could try a range of different fidget toys to try and keep his hands busy

In all honesty, from personal experience, you’re never gonna ‘make’ him stop biting his nails. I only stopped a year ago at 28yrs old and that was because I chose to. It usually stems from a place of anxiety or stress and even with those things managed, it’s just one of those habits that he’ll eventually grow out of. It’s completely harmless unless he’s biting his skin off too and causing wounds

I am 28 years old…and still bite my nails it’s a hard habit to break. . Even cutting them doesn’t help…just means there is less to chew. I wouldn’t worry about it so much… along as they are not biting skin… I wouldn’t worry about it too much

Im 26 and still bite my nails, i do it when im anxious or bored. I stopped a few years ago for a few months but stress got too much and i started again. Its not easy to stop at all x

Following my 8 Yr old daughter does it and its that short I’m worried they may get infected if she carries on

You can buy chewable items and fiddle toys specifically for this as they’re often used for kids with ADHD or ASD. Might be worth a try - Google “sensory chew toys” or “sensory fidget toys”. You can get necklaces, bracelets and all sorts :blush:

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You can get special nail polish that’s clean but tastes horrible

Help a mama out and respond anonymously on our forum. How to stop nail biting?

My 12 year has bitten his nails for ages. We tried the polishes & hot sauces and all the other mess… none of it helped. He does it out of nervousness and anxiousness.

My son does this, he also chews on his shirt sleeves at school! It’s anxiety for him so we let him chew on straws, and his teachers provide him with straws at school it has really helped a lot! He doesn’t eat the straws just chews on them!

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I was a nail biter until I hit about 25 years old. It started because of nervousness when I was little. I had to consciously break the habit. I had to get manicures and even put a rubber band on my wrist and would snap it when I caught myself chewing. It’s not easy to correct a habit you dont realize you have. Maybe try some fidget toys he can have in his hand when he’s sitting on the couch watching tv or when hes bored. My daughter who has anxiety uses fidget spinners and bubble pop toys and it really helps!


I done that when I was a young child, it was an anxiety thing but my mum bought a certain nail polish, it had “stop” in the name, painted my nails with it and when i went to bite or chew, it was poison. And I stopped. Lol :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:

So I was a nail biter until I became an adult. That was my tick for whenever I feel anxious. My nails are super short now and I can’t really get them to grow. I’ tried everything to stop biting them but NOTHING worked until I decided that my fingers physically hurt. If I were you, I would speak to your pediatrician because it definitely sounds like your child has anxiety and that is a way that he copes with his anxiety. Please, please, please speak to his doctor about this now and don’t wait by trying to fix it with other ticks just yet. Get to the bottom of why he is doing this first. It will be so helpful and beneficial to him :heart:

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Anxiety. Talk to your family doctor to find ways and skills to teach him to handle it when it arises. Hand hobbies, stress toys, knitting, coloring, drawings, etc. I wouldn’t bite my nails or skin around, I would pick with my fingers. I also, developed alopecia when I was 7 years old. Stress & anxiety caused it. I was dealing with a lot of issues around school at that age.

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Instead of keeping his mouth busy, try keeping his hands busy. My older brother was always fidgity with his hands. My mother taught him how to crochet to keep his hands busy while watching TV.


My son has stress relief gummies that help him to stop biting his nails

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Some kind of sensory/fidget toy to give him something to do with his hands. It is anxiety and it becomes a subconscious thing to do. Just look online for them and keep a small bucket near him.


Been doing that since I was a kid and later grew up to realize it’s a way to deal with anxiety.


Everyone says it’s anxiety but I’m a chronic nail biter and I’ve found it is some sort of hormonal or nutrient deficiency. I have stopped both when pregnant and when on a diet with a ton of supplements but I never figured out which supplement, or combination of supplements, triggered me to stop. It was really odd to me but made me realize it’s not just from anxiety - I’m not really an anxious person anyway.

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I bite/pick my nails when I’m anxious and bored. Standing in line or in between errands. A fidget spinner actually helped a latte! Tapping your fingers on something is helpful but I also clean for work so my hands are almost always a mess.

Dip the tips of fingers in vinegar. It will taste awful and vinegar is a natural cleaner to keep bacteria from under their nails out of their mouth. It took me maybe a week of dipping his fingers in vinegar twice a day and he stopped chewing them. He was 6 then but it helped tremendously because when he stopped chewing his fingers (he had no nails left) he started building and he automatically changed the habit on his own to something he preferred to do more than taste it.

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I’ve done it my entire life, pretty sure it’s anxiety related so maybe a deeper issue to work on besides just the nail biting.


No Bite from Ella and Mila, I bit my my nail for 25 years and I bought this nail polish and now I have beautiful nail. My 7 year old daughter bite her nails, I used the same stuff. The polish taste horrible sound deters them from chewing. I 100% it works!! Good luck

So the asshole way to do it that worked for my parents of 6 kids is put hot sauce on their finger. Jus enough that they’ll take their finger out of their mouth. But it worked.

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Following for tips. 23 and been doing it my whole life. Its so bad i not only bite my nails off but i eat my skin an tear off my cuticles. My fingers are a bloody mess. Please help :sweat_smile:

Honestly I’d try getting him something like this to replace the nail biting. If he’s doing it while watching netflix/TV, sounds like he just needs something to keep his mouth busy while he’s sitting still. Amazon has a ton of different options.

My daughter has bit her nails since she was a baby and she’s 15 now and still does it. And I have tried everything!!! Lol. Don’t stress about it. It’s not going to kill them.

It sounds like his nerves(mind). Get something for him to fidget with, fidget toys, like a fidget spinner.

Its because he is anxious… Try redirecting to something else

Talk to his doctor about possible anxiety.

I had to want to stop myself, i started sitting on my hands because those idle moments were when i picked at mine. It worked for me, i was 10.

I cut my son’s nails every couple of days and spent more 1 on 1 time with him.

Fidget spinners or something else to bite on helped me a bit for awhile. I’m almost 27 and have been biting my nails out of anxiety or boredom pretty much my entire life.

I’ve done it my whole life and my only way is acrylics.
But for my daughter I got her into using cuticle oil so there’s nothing thick or a hang nail etc that attracts her to wanting to pick. And she had fidget toys. The new ones are I believe poppers. There shaped as whatever shape and have bubbles that you pop on one side and flip and pop again. It’s helped. I try to keep her nails and cuticles as well managed as possible. And I’ve found she will leave them alone.

Get a chewy necklace or bracelet from Amazon

Different context my boys are autistic and need them or then chew EVERYTHING but it’s a comfort or anxiety thing with my two and I bought chewy necklaces stopped the fingers getting the short end of the deal xx