Congratulations! You’ve already accomplished the first step to kicking the habit; many nail biters aren’t aware they’re doing it to begin with. Now, your next step is to determine why you’re nail biting. Do you nibble during specific situations -- such as a tense day at work -- or just when you’re bored? Being aware of your triggers will help you correct the behavior.
Once the psychology behind your biting has been addressed, the next step is stopping it. This challenging task may take time, but it’s well worth it: Nail biting puts you at risk of not only embarrassment, but also infection. Try keeping your mouth busy with chewing gum, mints or water during the times you nibble most often -- say, while watching TV or sitting in meetings.
Some people find that putting bandages over their nails is a visual reminder not to bite. Getting weekly manicures might help, too; some women find that they’re less tempted to bite their nails after they’ve invested the time and money to make them look nice. (Or promise yourself a manicure as a reward for not biting for a week or two.)
If that doesn’t do the trick, you can try an over-the-counter product such as Bitrex (check with your doctor first). Applied to the nails, the formula has an unpleasant flavor, so one taste may be all it takes to kick a nail-biting habit for good.