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You probably know that brushing and flossing are important to the health of your teeth and gums, but did you know that there are also several things you should avoid doing if you’d like to keep your mouth healthy? For instance, would you be surprised to hear that a few common habits could be hurting your pearly whites?

For example, did you know that biting your fingernails may damage your teeth and, potentially, your gums? In fact, chewing your nails may even lead to a number of dental issues. Biting your fingernails can lead to fractures, cracks, and uneven wear on your teeth. Similarly, nail biting might introduce your teeth to different germs because your nails are one of the dirtiest parts of your hand. Chewing your nails may also lead to tooth grinding, also known as bruxism, which can cause issues with your jaw. Luckily, there are several things you could do to break the nail biting habit.

Chewing gum can also cause some issues if you pick gum with sugar in it. However, would you be interested in learning that chewing gum could actually protect your teeth and gums? The chewing motion promotes saliva flow, which can carry plaque and bacteria away from your gums and your teeth. Gum that has xylitol in it can also help you avoid tooth decay. Finally, please remember that it’s important to keep brushing and flossing your teeth and that chewing gum shouldn’t be used as a substitute for these steps.

If you’re interested in hearing more about biting your nails and chewing gum in Chelsea, Michigan, please don’t hesitate to give Healthy Smiles Dental Care® of Chelsea a call at 734-475-8911. Our dentist, Dr. Steven Rodriguez, and the rest of our dental team are happy to inspect your teeth and answer any concerns you may have. We look forward to meeting with you.