If you are a smoker, your dental and oral health care needs are significantly more stringent than non-smokers. Smoking is not only the number one cause of tooth loss, but also puts you at greater risk for dental staining, chronic bad breath, tooth decay, serious gum disease, and oral cancer. Smoking also affects dental patients’ ability to heal from dental work, making some smokers unsuitable for such procedures as implants. Here are some tips to help smokers keep their smiles healthy.
- Brush with the best.
The tools that you use to care for your mouth and teeth are particularly important if you are a smoker. Choosing the right toothbrush is the first step. Because the tar in cigarettes is extremely adherent, it is important to get a toothbrush bristles that are stiff enough to rid the tar from your teeth without damaging your gums. It is also important to choose toothpaste that is intended for use by smokers. Mild toothpastes are usually not enough to fight the tar staining and bad breath caused by smoking. Regularly using a high quality mouthwash, particularly one marketed to smokers, is also an effective way to fight bad breath.
- Watch what you eat.
It is important for everyone to be mindful of the staining qualities of the food and drinks they consume, but it is especially important for smokers. Combining staining caused by smoking with staining caused by dark soda and coffee can cause irreparable cosmetic damage to your teeth. Smoking in combination with consumption of highly acidic foods can also increase your risk of getting cavities.
Although the effectiveness of e-cigarettes as an overall healthier alternative is controversial, there is no question that they do have benefits in terms of oral and dental health. Because e-cigarettes contain no tar, they do not constitute the same oral health risk as conventional cigarettes. Opting for a high quality brand of e-cigarettes will protect your teeth from some of the serious health repercussions of smoking.
- Visit your dentist regularly.
For most patients, visiting the dentist twice a year is enough to keep their teeth and mouth in optimal health. However, smokers require more regular visits for routine scaling and polishing.
- Look for resources to make quitting easier.
The reality is that the most effective way to reduce your risk of smoking related oral health issues is simply to quit smoking. Quitting requires overcoming not only a physical, but also an emotional dependency on the nicotine in cigarettes. It’s not an easy process, but there are a variety of resources to help you through. From patches and gum, to state-sponsored hotlines, to one-on-one therapy, you don’t have to go through the process alone. The advantages of quitting are irrefutable, so give up your cigarettes and start protecting your smile today.
Everyone suffers from adherent material build-up at the back of the teeth, but smokers experience this at a heightened rate. If you are a smoker, contact Lynn Dental Care today and take an important step towards keeping your smile healthy.