Smoking has dangerous consequences for your health – especially your oral health. Not only can it cause mouth cancer, smoking also leads to tooth decay, sores and gum disease. It’s critical that you quit right away, and the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research has suggestions to help you:
- Set a “quit day” and stick to it. If possible, pick a day that has a low amount of external stress.
- Prior to your quit day, start cutting back. Make your goal to smoke only half as many cigarettes by the time your quit day arrives. Or, try lowering the nicotine level of your tobacco product.
- Be observant about your triggers and patterns. When are you most drawn to smoke? What situations or people cause you to smoke?
- Come up with ideas for distractions or alternatives to smoking. For instance, try substituting sunflower seeds or hard candies.
- Surround yourself with supportive people. Ask your family and friends to encourage you and motivate you as you work on quitting. They can talk to you when you’re stressed or take you for a walk. It’s also important to ask anyone who still smokes to avoid doing it around you while you’re quitting.
- Once you quit, do something special every day as a reward. Change up your routine and stay active.
- Embrace the benefits of being a nonsmoker, such as clean-smelling clothes and more room in your budget
- Finally, make an appointment with a dentist on your True Care Advantage plan to share the good news and get your teeth cleaned. You’ll relish having cleaner, brighter teeth that are no longer affected by tobacco!