If you're looking for a way to cover up a less than beautiful tooth or to whiten up your smile, you may be considering having dental veneers attached to your teeth. While made from robust materials, the veneer shells that cover teeth can still get damaged just like your natural teeth. If you bite your nails, this may be an issue.

How Nail Biting Affects Veneers

If you are a habitual nail biter, you may think that the only damage you're doing is to your fingers; however, your habit may also damage your teeth. If you bite your nails all the time, you put constant stress on the teeth that you use to bite with. According to Colgate, this habit may cause your teeth to chip, break and wear down over time. Plus, if you bite your nails, you may be more likely to develop other oral habits such as grinding your teeth. Known as bruxism, habitual teeth grinding can also damage veneers as your teeth are constantly rubbing surfaces together.

Nail biting can have much the same effect on veneers as it does on your natural teeth. In fact, your habit may be more likely to damage veneers than teeth. Veneer shells are usually made from a resin or porcelain material. These materials are strong enough to cope with normal daily wear and tear; however, they aren't necessarily as strong as your natural teeth and may be more prone to the stress damage that nail biting may bring.

The Cost of Nail Biting

While your dentist may not refuse to put veneers on your teeth if you bite your nails, you're likely to get a warning that this may damage the shells. If this happens, you could end up out of pocket.

Unlike teeth, chips and cracks in veneers can't always be fixed simply. In some cases, your dentist may be able to fix minor damage; however, major damage may be an issue that can't be repaired. If your habit breaks a veneer, pushes it off a tooth or causes significant damage that can't be fixed, you'll probably need to have it replaced. According to Dental Guide Australia, a new veneer could cost you between $480-1,300, depending on the material used to make the shell.

Therefore, from a financial perspective, it may be better to try to quit biting your nails before you have veneers fitted. In addition to making your hands look better, this also protects your natural teeth as well as your veneer shells. For more information, contact a cosmetic dentist in your area.