Smoking is a bad habit that slowly destroys your health. Aside from lung and heart problems, oral health is also negatively affected by the nicotine and tar in cigarettes. There are over 4,000 chemicals in cigarette smoke and these can gradually poison and damage the body.
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, more than 20 million people in the country have died due to causes related to smoking. Majority of these deaths were smokers but there is also a great number (about 2.5 million) who died because they were breathing secondhand smoke.
Some of the most common negative impacts of smoking on oral health include:
- Halitosis or bad breath
- Stained teeth and tongue
- Difficulties in chewing or swallowing
- Dulled sense of smell and taste
- Slow healing after surgery or extraction
- Bleeding gums and gum disease
- Oral cancer
If you want to keep your smile and overall health in tip-top shape, quitting smoking is a must. But because nicotine is addicting, this is not an easy thing to do. It takes a lot of effort and willpower to break free from this destructive habit but once you do, you will surely feel so much healthier.
Here are some helpful steps you can take to help you quit smoking:
1. Have a plan.
Having a quit plan will keep you focused on your goals. It is also more effective if you write down this plan and put it on a place where it is easily visible so you will always be reminded. Enumerate your reasons for quitting and also illustrate the goals you want to achieve.
2. Stay busy and exercise.
Being busy and constantly on the move will take your mind off smoking. Add exercise to your daily routine so you can also improve your physical health and distract yourself from the cravings. Even simple exercises like walking or yoga can go a long way.
3. Stay away from triggers.
It is normal to experience cravings from time to time but it is important to not give in. Be mindful of what triggers your cravings. Stay away from things, places and even people who can trigger your need to smoke again. Change your old routines and avoid anything that reminds you of the habit.
4. Have a support system.
Quitting smoking is more difficult if you do it alone. Have a support system, like your close friends and family members, to help motivate you through this journey. If you are feeling down and want to give up, ask for help from your support system so that you can stay positive.
While this quitting journey is different for everyone, the end result is the same – a healthier body and healthier smile. If you need more inspiration to quit smoking, read relevant tips and inspiring true stories from people who successfully quit the habit.