Nail-biting (onychophagia) is considered to be a common stress-relieving habit. Nail-biting is also the most common of the typical "nervous habits", which include: thumb-sucking, nose- picking, hair-twisting or pulling, tooth-grinding, and picking at skin.
- As people bite nails, they easily transfer bacteria into the mouth and the rest of the body, where it may lead to infections.
- Nail biters are susceptible to paronychia, a skin infection that occurs around nails.
- Nail biting may cause teeth to shift out of their proper position, become misshapen, wear down prematurely, and become weakened.
- People who chronically bite their nails report significantly lesser quality of life than those who do not.
- In 2000, The American Psychiatric Association re-classified nail biting as a form of obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), along with other forms of "pathological grooming"- but for most people nail biting is simply the result of boredom or an open mouth rest posture.
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...We took Melody to see a practitioner, Sandra Coulson, who does orofacial myology. This changed her life (and ours as well). Within one week, we were seeing Melody working less to breathe while sleeping. After a couple of weeks we could observe no apnea while she was sleeping. We have a very high quality pulse ox, and the numbers for her oxygen levels astounded us. She used to be in the 70’s while sleeping without oxygen. Within one week of seeing Sandra her oxygen levels while sleeping were about 89.
Those numbers have steadily increased since then. Now she is typically about 94-95 without oxygen while sleeping, and that number seems to keep rising. Frequently, by morning her oxygen levels are about 96-98. Melody sleeps in a crib in our room and I find it immensely comforting to hear the quiet sound of her rhythmic, non-stressed breathing. In addition to the orofacial myology helping her breathing, Melody has changed in other positive ways as well. For the most part, she no longer snores. It used to be that her snoring was so loud you could hear her from a pretty good distance away. Melody used to be perpetually congested, even when she wasn’t sick. That is no longer the case! Melody used to have her little signature snort while awake. That is resolved. When she is teething she might drool a little more than your average teething baby, but substantially less than she did previously. All of her mouth muscles are so much stronger that she can now drink from a cup!
I am happy to share Melody’s story with anyone who could use it to further disseminate knowledge about what Coulson and Associates do. If we can be a part of helping even one family get the help they need for their baby, we would be honored.
"I just had to write to share my deep appreciation for Sandy and her team! I have a 2.5 year old daughter with bad hair pulling habit that developed when she was 6 months old (in conjunction with her thumb sucking). After countless efforts to nip the habits ourselves (hair cuts, lovies, blankets, new beds, redirection), we were hopeless. Our pediatrician referred us to Sandy and we immediately felt relief. Sandy and her team were warm and knowledgeable; they reassured us that they could help us break our daughter's hair pulling and thumb habit in a warm and inviting environment with fun, engaging therapy exercises. Our daughter was immediately drawn to Sandy's warm smile, and in just three sessions, we are already seeing no sucking and hair regrowth! We will continue with Sandy and cannot thank her team enough for providing us some guidance and support. I would highly recommend Sandy's therapy to any parent or child with a thumb sucking or hair pulling habit. You are not alone, and Sandy and her team are here to help!"
"Words alone will not express the gratitude I have for the work Sandy did with me.
My breathing, snoring, and sleep problems were solved in such a short time.
It is obvious that she is a highly trained teacher as well. The exercises were fun, simple and I was amazed at how well they worked.
Better yet, my tests continue to show that the results were locked in. What a deal! It was a delight working with her, it only took a short time, with lasting results. I couldn’t ask for more."