It is not news that smoking is bad for you. It is the leading cause of preventable deaths in England, attributed to almost 80,000 deaths every year.
Smoking has negative effects on your heart, circulation, brain, lungs, stomach, reproduction and fertility, mouth and throat, skin and bones. It is the largest cause of cancer worldwide, leading to cancer of the:
While less serious for your health, smoking can also cause cosmetic side effects. These include yellow / grey skin, stained nails and fingers, thinner hair and premature wrinkles on the face. With regards to your mouth, smoking can cause your teeth to become yellow in colour, lead to bad breath and loss of taste. It can cause delayed healing after extractions or oral surgery and is associated with a higher risk of plaque build up.
While your dental team at BPI Dental can treat the dental side effects of smoking, what we really care about is helping you kick the habit for the good of your general wellbeing. There are several ways to do this.
Establish the benefits of quitting
This will support your resolve and give you something to refer to when you need motivation. By focusing on the benefits of quitting rather than the negatives of smoking, you can keep thinking positive.
Give yourself a target
We all say we will do something ‘one day’. Give yourself a target and make ‘one day’ a reality. Give yourself a deadline for when you want to be smoke-free. The exact timeframe will often depend on how you plan to give up.
Identify when you get the strongest cravings
If you know which cigarettes will be hardest to avoid, try to prevent certain situations or alter your habits. For example, change where you have your morning coffee or try chewing sugar-free gum immediately after a meal.
Whether you go for a walk around the block or join a gym, getting active helps the brain produce more anti-craving chemicals.
Assess your social circles
If all your friends smoke, it can be difficult to see them without being tempted to join the huddle outside. Making new friends who don’t smoke can help. Alternatively, arrange to socialise in situations where smoking is more difficult or less frequent while you kick the habit.
Have a plan for emergency situations
Of course, you can plan as much as you like, but a craving may still hit you out of nowhere. Carrying sugar-free gum, nicotine patches or an electronic cigarette for such occasions may help.
March 13th is National No Smoking Day. Why not use this as an excuse to see if you can go a day without lighting up? If are interested in restoring your smile to its gleaming former glory once you’re officially an ex-smoker (or if you already are), give us a call at BPI Dental!