Biting things

I don’t know why but I have an interesting habit of biting things. Its easy enough to control but it’s tempting especially if it gives you a tingly feeling in your teeth. I chew on pencils, pens, my acrylic nails (which is why I try to avoid them), books and if I’m unlucky myself. I’ve always loved the feeling of something filling in that empty space that gave a nice relief, it calms me in a mysterious way though I don’t always do it but when the urge comes along its bad. I’ve found myself chewing my lips which makes them sore and even leave then pink and slightly swollen, my mother always stops me when I start because I tend to do it unconsciously and only realize when I’m biting away skin. Some times they are so raw that they burn when salt comes in contact with it and then it no longer feels OK.


I have a bad habit of biting my nails, my cuticles and surrounding skin, and occasionally my lips. I also like to gnaw on anything and everything I can get my mouth on… but I’ve curbed that habit quite a bit (I’ve been grinding my teeth down because of it… and my teeth are enough of an incentive to get me to stop some of my biting and gnawing habits). Unfortunately the nails/skin one is harder to break. I tend to avoid my nails if they have nail polish on them. BUT, I know somewhere there are oral fidgets. Basically pendants and such that are designed to be chewed on. I’d try looking into those! :smiley:


Like @HarleyKyn I’ve also seen oral fidgets around. You can get pendants, pencil toppers, and probably other stuff too.

Gum is probably a possible thing, and chewy lollies are a more edible option. I like those little Starburst chews, the ones that are square.
…Yeah. That’s an amazing description. 10/10.

(Y’know the ones? Their flavours are strawberry, cherry, orange, and lemon. I don’t like the lemon ones, though. Now I’m really getting off topic.)

I hope this is helpful, despite my rambling about lollies I like. :slight_smile:

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I have been chewing my nails obsessively for as long as I can remember. When I dont have any nail that can be chewed, I chew the skin surrounding the nails. It’s very embarassing at times. But most of the times I dont even realise when I’m doing that. I read sometime back on Wikipedia, if I remember correctly, that this is a symptom of OCD. I havent told my doc yet. I’m not sure if I’m going to any time soon, since I dont think I exhibit any other telltale symptoms of OCD and I’m embarassed of the fact that I do that.


If ever I come across some new object, like a new pen or a new toy, I always put that object in my mouth. I dont necessarily bite it. I just like to feel the texture of the object with my mouth. I guess its weird.

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For me, mine is used as a fidget, so to speak. It doesn’t make it good but it explains why I do it. :sweat_smile:
If I get bored and there is nothing for me to do I tend to play with my nails which causes me to eventually break one slightly so then I have to carefully gnaw the rest of it off… which makes it uneven… which makes me chew at the rest of them… and when that’s over I attack my fingers because the momentum is already there. I also tend to do it with more vigor when I’m anxious, it’s a way for me to get anxiety out and I’ve done it since I was a little kid… so it’s a hard habit to stop but I’ve curbed it a lot over the years so… I’m geting there slowly but surely.

Definitely ask yourself why you need to chew at your fingers. Is it anxious energy? Bored energy? It definitely isn’t something only limited to OCD :slight_smile: Once you figure out why you do it, perhaps you can find ways to avoid doing it as much :smiley:


My husband has this kind of fidget. He also likes things like the Starburst that @MachUPB suggests. But, if he relied on these for his mouth fidget, it would be really bad for his health! I’ve been trying to figure out a good place to get these kinds of fidgets, but… I dunno where to buy them at.

@harleykyn Do you have a suggestion of the best place to buy chewy fidgets?

I actually haven’t purchased any yet due to forgetting that I want to do it :sweat_smile: (Shocker, right?)

However, a lot of the websites I find tend to have more children-oriented things… stuff that an adult may not want to wear. I just browsed amazon real quick and they have a decent selection so I’d give amazon a shot, that will probably be where I look for mine… especially since I generally can trust stuff I get through amazon. And if I can’t… they fix it for me :joy:

My friend and I have the same problem, and we dealt with it in two ways.

When I was younger, I would bite holes in my sleeves and chew my hair. (Dad put the fear of "lead & ink poisoning in me, so no chewed up pencils). I would do it for focus and/or anxiety. My solution was gum. Lots of gum. I also use hichews, starbursts, and gummy bears when I need something chewy. Crunchy often leads to compulsive eating…

My friend got a stim necklace off of Amazon and it works great for them. I think they said they paid about $12 dollars for it? We also found them in a random gift shop for even cheaper. I’d recommend keeping an eye out just in case.

I also have a habbit of bitting my cheeks lips and nails. I suggest maybe try these things called chewlery. It is a type of jewlery (a necklace) that is ment for people to chew on it might really help search it up on google or amazon. It is for if u r autistoc have adhd anxiety and prob for breaking habbits it seems good. And most say for autism but it would help with other things so ya

I’m a chewer. I chew my nails, the skin around them. Pencils. Erasers.

When I was a kid I chewed my pencils, erasers, glue caps, marker caps, books, my window sill. All my barbies had squished hands.

I just thought I was weird. Never thought it was part of ADHD until I found How to ADHD.

I’ve only been diagnosed for a month


I used to bite my fingers in college as a means of keeping myself awake in the morning. If I was in class, I’d dug my thumbs into my palms. But I don’t count this as fidgeting.

Sometimes I start messing with my nails, because they bug me when they aren’t super short, which will eventually lead to me ripping them shorter. I try to cut them before they start to bug me.

Reading this thread reminded me that when I was in church or school and bored as a kid, I would “draw” things with my tongue on the roof of my mouth like I’d trace outlines of whatever I saw or draw pictures. Not a bad fidgeting method, since it doesn’t do damage and I don’t think anyone can tell. I’m putting it on the list of things I didn’t know were part of ADHD.

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This thread reminds me that I used to bite the backs of pencils all the time but stopped and I have no recollection of when and how. I also did that “roof of my mouth” thing with my tongue. Weird as it sounds, I was always very aware of where my tongue was.

Ooh, and maybe related:
As a very small kid, I used to bite off the edges of glasses all the time. Whenever we were at a restaurant, my parents would order my lemonade or juice or whatever it was in plastic mugs for fear of me biting the glass again. I vaguely remember being disappointed by that because I liked biting glasses.

Yeah, I stopped that, too. Again, no recollection how.

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@themax I don’t know why I’m so surprised that someone else did the same thing, since this site is full of people saying things that are eerily similar to my life. It makes me weirdly happy.


I used to chew on stuff all the time! It got so bad i put holes in my shirts (also, biting on glass is the best!!! )
I know someone was asking for a link so here’s a place I’ve heard was really good


I remember that as a kid I loved the sensation of biting down on something plastic and squishy, like certain kinds of teething rings and those dangly pencil toppers made of a thin layer of soft plastic around a layer of foam. It wasn’t just the biting, it was wiggling my jaw back and fore around it… Happy sensation memories!

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I’ve very recently started working to improve a similar habit involving biting and/or scratching my cuticles and fingers, nearly the same as with @HarleyKyn; and I know the unpleasant effects all to well! To the point: I’m finding some new success with the following 2 techniques I’d like to share:

  • I keep my trusty fidget spinner handy (where have these been all my life?!?) Whenever an event happens: I immediately stop, grab it, and give it a good spin or two! I think this is helping me train my mind to start reaching for the fidget spinner versus my poor fingers by repeatedly following up the undesired action with the desired one; maybe similar to how a new language learner might follow up every incorrect pronunciation of a word with the correct one?

  • I also take a moment to briefly contemplate the tasks I was doing, thoughts in my head, and overall mood at the time of the event. As earlier comments suggest: I think this helps me be more mindful about what’s going on in my external world and internal mind that could be the cause of the fidget. For example: I discovered that I often scratch my fingers when thinking about a big task further down my daily to-do list; so maybe addressing that could help manage the fidget?

In any case: hope you and/or someone dealing with the same situation finds this helpful, and thank you all for sharing your experiences! Also, if anyone’s interested: I could update this thread every week or so with my progress and experiences along the way.



Hey @seiselen! I noticed this is the first time you’ve posted and I wanted I wanted to say welcome :grin:
Those are really great ideas and super helpful, thanks for contributing!! ( I sounds so cheesy :joy: )

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Not at all, thanks for the welcome!

I’ll post an official intro in a bit (need to shift focus back on my grad coursework to-do’s for the day per the schedule) but discovered the post on ‘biting’ (per usual - got stunned by the EXACT similarity to what I’m going through) and wanted to start out in the same way Jessica did by offering my insights and personal experiences to both the OP and anyone else coming across this thread who is working through the same situation and hungry for insight and ideas to build a strategy with.

I’m here to learn, share, and grow with my fellow ADHD superpeople (now I sounds cheesy :wink: )

Thanks again for the welcome!


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Welcome to the forum Steven! Hope you like it here, and look forward to your intro, once you’re done with your grad work.:wink: Good luck!:+1:

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