Our dental team at Smile Town Langley understands that resisting peer pressure can sometimes be extremely difficult for teens. But it is essential to resist than when it comes to smoking – both for the sake of overall health, and the health of your teeth.
Most of us know that smoking increases the risk of lung cancer, but many people aren’t aware of the oral health problems that smoking can cause.
While some of these problems, like tooth discolouration and bad breath, are not especially serious, there are also many extremely serious oral health risks that teens take when they decide to smoke.
Smoking can cause an increase in plaque buildup and tartar on the teeth. This can result in cavities, tooth sensitivity, and gum disease as the acid in the plaque eats away at tooth enamel and dentin and affects the gums.
Gum disease and cavities can in some cases eventually result in tooth loss, and in turn, loss of bone density within the jaw.
And of course, smoking also increases the risk of oral cancer.
How can prevent my teen from smoking?
The best way to stop your teen from lighting up is to ensure that they are educated about the risks associated with it.
Start talking to your children about the risks that come with smoking as soon as they’re old enough to understand. But if you haven't started yet, have the conversation soon! It’s never too late to talk to your teen about smoking.
Do some research ahead of time to prepare yourself, and then sit your teen down when you're both calm for a straightforward discussion about the risks of smoking.
Make a point of talking about the serious health issues, of course, but don’t forget to mention things like bad breath and discoloured teeth. Teenagers tend to feel a bit invincible, but at the same time can be awfully self-conscious about their appearances and what their friends think, so bringing up the potential social fallout can have a surprisingly big impact.