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Women with beautiful white teeth

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) – Taking care of your teeth is about preventative maintenance, but you may be doing things every day that are ruining your pearly whites.

Here are five surprising ways you’re destroying your teeth from Women’s Health Magazine:

1) Not visiting the dentist

Think of your mouth as a machine. You’ve got to keep it running smoothly, so every once in a while you need a professional to take a look at it. Remember to schedule an appointment at least once a year.

2) For-going brushing and flossing

When certain bacteria sit on your teeth for long enough, they start colonizing and produce acid that can break down your teeth. Brushing helps remove the plaque before the colonies can start to cause damage, and flossing helps ensure you get what the brush can’t reach.

3) Picking a non-fluoride toothpaste

Fluoride is important because it helps replace the minerals worn away by bacteria-produced acid. It can help repair the teeth even after bacteria has damaged them.

4) Chewing ice

Subjecting your teeth to big ranges of hot and cold, which tends to make things expand and contract, eventually puts little micro-cracks in your enamel. Those little cracks in your teeth can build up, and one day, a piece might just break off.

5) Sipping a sugary drink all day

If you have a several cokes a day, you’re putting your teeth at risk. But, if you can’t kick the habit, at least rinse your mouth out with water to remove some of the sugar from your teeth.