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Quitting Smoking Can Help Protect Kids’ Teeth

added on: November 19, 2021

Every November, the American Cancer Society sponsors the Great American Smokeout, an event that “provides an opportunity for individuals, community groups, businesses, health care providers, and others to encourage people to use the date to make a plan to quit, or plan in advance and initiate a smoking cessation plan on the day of the event.” This year, the Great American Smokeout fell on November 15, but your pediatric dentist in The Woodlands wants all smokers to know that it’s never too late to quit. In fact, quitting smoking not only helps make smokers healthier, but it can also help protect kids of smokers. 

The Dangers of Secondhand Smoke

Secondhand smoke can be dangerous to those who are around smokers, including children and pregnant women, and can have serious consequences such as:

  • Low birth weight babies
  • Increased risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)
  • More ear infections, respiratory problems, and complications with asthma

But that’s not all. According to a study conducted and published by the British Medical Journal, there was a correlation between children who were exposed to secondhand smoke and a higher risk of tooth decay

Children of Smokers are More Likely to Smoke

The risks of secondhand smoke can even affect children as they grow up if they’re consistently exposed to it. For example, secondhand smoke can lead to underdeveloped lungs, heart disease, and cancer. Additionally, children of smokers are nearly 4-times more likely to start smoking than those with non-smoking parents.

How to Stop Smoking

Quitting smoking can be very difficult as it’s a highly addictive habit. But don’t lose hope. There are a number of ways people have successfully quit. It’s important to note that not every tip will work for everyone. Keep an open mind and keep trying alternatives. 

  • Pick a Quit Date

Some smokers may try to stop smoking “cold turkey,” meaning that one day they just stop. While this can work for some people, it’s incredibly difficult. Instead, professionals recommend picking a quit date and working your way to that quit date by decreasing the number of cigarettes you have a day.   

  • Find a Support System

Quitting on your own can make the process even harder, so try getting a support system. This can be a family member, friend, or perhaps even a coworker. Talk to them about how they can best help you and in ways that you will find most supportive. 

  • Supplement with Something Healthy 

A lot of smokers have trouble quitting because of the simple act of holding something in between their figures or puffing on something throughout the day. If you find this to be the case, try to find a healthy alternative. For example, snack on vegetables, chew sugarless gums, hold a pencil in between your fingers, or consider a nicotine replacement product.

Your pediatric dentist in The Woodlands knows that quitting can be hard, but the American Cancer Society has several tools to help. Make a plan, find a support system, and start kicking the habit once and for all. It will not only help protect your health but the health of your children, too.