The flash of a smile can change everything about how you’re perceived, but so many of us take that for granted. Check out a few things that you should stop doing today if you want your smile health to last a lifetime.

1. Chewing Bubble Gum

It’s fun to chew and tastes yummy, but bubble gum is not so good for your teeth. If you are a gum chewer, exchange your sugary bubble gum for a pack of ADA-approved chewing gum. This gum is not going to leave you at risk of decay development due to constant sugar contact.

2. Drinking a Lot of Soda

You may feel like you must have your daily dose of cola, but soft drinks like these can be really hard on your teeth. They have high levels of sugar, and if you are sipping this sugar-filled beverage throughout the day, your teeth are getting a constant layer of decay-causing sugar. Limit your soda intake and always brush after you have one.

3. Grinding Your Teeth

Some people grind their teeth when they’re anxious, and some people grind their teeth while they sleep, concentrate, or chew. In any case, tooth-grinding can be really hard on your teeth. Talk to your dentist about ways to stop this habit and maybe finding a mouth guard to wear while you sleep.

4. Forgetting to Floss

It’s such a small part of your daily routine, but it is one that is most neglected by the general public. More than 32 percent of people surveyed claim they never floss their teeth, and only 30 percent actually floss every day. Unfortunately, not flossing is a number-one contributing factor to tooth decay.

5. Smoking

Without question, smoking is one of the most damaging things you can do to your teeth. The inhaled puffs of smoke can elevate the temperature inside your mouth, which is hard on your gums and can make you more prone to bacterial issues that lead to decay.

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