Smoking has quite the negative impact on your smile and your oral health. In fact, after years of smoking, your smile is practically ruined. Fortunately, it’s never too late to quit.
At Sierra Dental Care in Modesto, CA, we have the resources necessary to not only help you quit but to make the process easier for you.
How Smoking & Tobacco Impact Your Oral Health
Smoking and tobacco use are among the top contributors to oral health issues. Some of the main impacts of smoking and tobacco on your oral health include:
- Stained or discolored teeth and tongue
- Diminished sense of smell and taste
- Slow recovery after oral surgery
- Increased difficult correcting cosmetic dental issues
- Gum disease
- Oral cancer
The only way to decrease your risk of the above problems is to quit smoking or using tobacco entirely.
Unfortunately, the nicotine in cigarettes, chewing tobacco, and cigars can make quitting especially hard. The good news is that once you express your desire to quit, our team at Sierra Dental Care will help in any way possible to make the process easier for you.
Tips To Quit Smoking
When it comes to quitting smoking, each person handles the process differently. It’s important to find what will work for you. As for actually quitting, “cold turkey” doesn’t necessarily work for everyone. For some, it may be more beneficial to cut back on the number of cigarettes you smoke each day until you give it up entirely.
Keep in mind that your tobacco habit is an addiction. Your brain is hooked on nicotine and once you go without it, you’ll start to go through withdrawal. For those withdrawal symptoms, nicotine replacement therapy can make a big difference for your cravings. According to several studies, nicotine gum, patches, and lozenges can improve the likelihood of success.
There are also some medications that can help with cravings or make smoking less satisfying if you do happen to smoke. Other drugs can help with withdrawal symptoms like depression or difficulty concentrating.
It’s also a recommended that you find or create a support system to surround you during this difficult process. Go ahead and tell friends and family that you’re trying to quit and that you need as much encouragement and support as possible.
It may also be beneficial to join a support group or meet with a counselor. Behavioral therapy is a kind of counseling that can help you use strategies that will make quitting easier.
Another tip many former smokers found to be especially useful is to avoid possible triggers. For most people, the biggest triggers are alcohol and being around other people who smoke. You may also find it helpful to find new ways to fill the time you used to spend smoking. Like brushing your teeth, taking a walk, or chewing gum.
Once you’ve completely given up the habit, completely clean your home and get rid of your ashtrays and lighters. Wash your clothes, carpets, draperies, and upholstery that likely carry the stench of cigarette smoke. You’ll likely want to clean your car as well. Use air fresheners to get rid of the scent and diminish the reminder of your old habit.
Most importantly, remember that smoking isn’t easy. It takes a lot of effort and determination. It also takes a large amount of self-control. If you have a setback and indulge in your bad habit, get right back on track and try again. Once you overcome the habit, you’ll be proud and thankful that you did.
Quit Smoking Help & Support In Modesto, CA
At Sierra Dental Care, Dr. Glenn Takenaga and our experienced team are more than happy to work with you in every possible way to make it easier for you to quit smoking. The minute you decide to quit, don’t hesitate to call our office for advice or to schedule an appointment.
It’s a good idea to schedule a thorough dental cleaning as soon as you quit so you can get started with a clean, fresh slate.