Many people who have become addicted to using tobacco products want to stop. But as they can attest, that is much easier said than done. Everyone has been educated on the risks associated with tobacco use, but we want to reiterate how it can affect your dental and overall health. And we can also offer couple of tips on quitting tobacco.
Why should I quit using tobacco?
- Your mouth will be healthier. Quitting can lower your risk for receding gums and bone loss in the jaw bone surrounding the teeth.
- You will look and feel better. The stains created from smoking cannot be completely cleaned through brushing at home. Quitting will reduce stain and brighten your smile.
- You will set a healthy example. Chances are you are a role model to someone. Sometimes its children and sometimes it is a peer. By quitting you may inspire someone else to do the same.
Tips to Quit:
- Make a list of personal reasons for quitting and keep it in a place that you will frequently see.
- Set a date to quit in the future and do everything you can to stick to it. Try to find a time during the year that is ‘low stress.’
- Get help: ask your physician, family, friends and anyone else for their support in quitting.
- Find a healthy substitute. When you have a tobacco craving, try sugar-free gum or sugar-free candy. There is a sugar substitute called xylitol that has been shown to actually fight tooth decay.
- The four D’s:
- Delay- the craving will pass in 5-10 minutes
- Drink water- it gives you something to hold and put in your mouth
- Do something else- distract yourself by being active
- Deep breathing- this will help relax you.
We know it sounds a lot easier than it actually is, but hopefully you can use some of this information to help you or someone you know quit using tobacco. For more information go to www.dentistwestchester.com.
Lee T. Brown, DDS
Brown and Kupper, DDS