For those of us who bite our nails (or cuticles), the behavior is completely ingrained. We do it without even thinking because we’re nervous, anxious, or just have this specific tick. Nail biting can be embarrassing. For starters, it’s pretty disgusting to have your hands in your mouth on a near-constant basis. (Not to mention all of the nasty germs that you’re putting into your body when you shove your hands into your mouth.) Bitten nails and cuticles don’t look good, and for people whose hands’ appearance matter, the stakes are even higher. But you don’t have to keep biting. Fidget toys are a great way to kick the biting habit, and there are plenty of reasons to support your purchase of a fidget toy if you’re trying to stop biting nails (or doing any other similar behavior grounded in nerves and worries)!
The medical name for excessive nail biting is “onychophagia.” Mental health experts consider it a problem of impulse control, kind of like a milder version of OCD. (There are more extreme types of excessive grooming habits such as skin picking and hair pulling, many of these do indeed demand medical attention.) Most nail biters don’t have serious side effects, and around 45% of teenagers bite their nails. Obviously with numbers this high, it would be ridiculous to argue that all of these people need medical intervention.
So, why do we bite our nails? Those who follow Freud would say that we’re stuck in an oral fixation. Those people think that we just have to have something in our mouths, period. Non-psychoanalytical types don’t have such esoteric explanations. They figure you’re just offloading some stress by fidgeting. Plus, it’s easy to put your hands in your mouth since you always have access to them. There’s also a reward element to biting nails–sometimes they end up seeming neater afterwards (skip the clip?). Biting nails even just a few times can turn the behavior into a hard-wired habit. It’s a quiet habit, so you can do it just about anywhere (at school or in the office).
But if you’re biting your nails because you’re stressed out and need something to do with your hands, then it stands to reason that having something different to do with them means ceasing the habit. That’s where the fidget toys are a completely obvious choice. Rather than putting your hands in your mouth, you shift your biting fidget to a healthier and less destructive type of fidgeting. Fidgetland fidget toys are designed for exactly this purpose. They exist to give people who have nervous energy and need something to do with their hands a productive and discreet alternative to behaviors like nail biting. You can distract your hands with these toys that don’t gratify this oral fixation so whenever you have the urge to bite your nails, you play with your fidget toy instead. Then the nail biting habit gets replaced with the fidget toy. Your nails grow out and look better.
And you never end up giving a soggy handshake again.