Nail Biting and Braces: Are Invisalign Braces the Best Option For Nail Biters?

If you need orthodontic work and are a habitual nail biter, your orthodontist may be worried about fitting braces to your teeth, especially if you don't think you can kick the habit while your braces are in place. Regular braces and nail biting don't always mix well – chewing on your nails all the time may push your braces' wires out of place and prevent them from working correctly. In some cases, your orthodontist may recommend that you use Invisalign braces as an alternative. Is this kind of bracing solution a better solution for nail biters?

Biting Your Nails With Invisalign Braces

Invisalign braces aren't permanently fixed to your teeth like regular braces and have no wires. This bracing solution uses removable aligning trays that you wear over your teeth like a gum shield. Not only does the design of the aligning trays prevent you from damaging your braces through nail biting, you may also find that Invisalign braces actually help you quit your nail biting habit. 

The trays you wear cover your teeth completely, including your biting edges. You'll find it impossible to actually bite your nails when you're wearing aligners because your teeth can't make contact with your nails. If your orthodontist is concerned that your nail biting may hinder your orthodontic work, Invisalign may be an option worth considering; however, this kind of brace may not suit every nail biter.

When Is Invisalign Not a Good Solution?

While nail biting won't damage an Invisalign brace and prevent it from working, it's important to remember that this solution won't work for every nail biter. Typically, this kind of aligning tray brace works best for minor orthodontic problems. It may not be the best solution for you if you have more significant orthodontic needs, such as teeth that are particularly misaligned or that have large gaps. Invisalign may also not be the best solution if you have had some kinds of dental work done in the past such as bridges. For this reason, it's important to discuss all your options with your orthodontist before choosing a suitable bracing solution. 

Warning: Bear in mind that you can continue to bite your nails even when you're using Invisalign braces by taking the trays out. While this will allow you to chew on your fingers, it may also reduce the success of your treatment. Invisalign braces are meant to be worn most of the time, and you are only supposed to take them out to eat and to clean your teeth and trays. If you worry that biting your nails will be more important to you than wearing your braces as you should, it may be better to try to deal with your habit before you have braces fitted.