Dental Hygiene Tips for People Trying to Stop Smoking This October
This month, the Stoptober campaign is encouraging all smokers to give up smoking permanently. Statistics suggest that if you can give up for 28 days, you’ll have a much higher chance of quitting for good.
Smoking is harmful for your oral health and it’s particularly to look after your teeth and gums if you smoke. As well as increasing your risk of gum disease, smoking also leads to discoloration, which affects the aesthetic of the smile. If you’re giving up this October but are looking for ways to keep your teeth and gums in check in the meantime, here are some helpful dental hygiene tips:
Brush twice a day
Brushing is the best way to remove debris and bacteria from the mouth whilst polishing your teeth. You should brush every morning and every evening for 2 minutes each time, using fluoride toothpaste. Brush gently using a small headed brush and take care to cover the surface of each individual tooth. Electronic toothbrushes are proven to remove plaque more efficiently than manual brushes and are easy to use. If you have any questions about which brush to buy or how to brush effectively, why not ask one of our experts?
Book a dental check-up
Check-ups are essential for oral health and help to keep your teeth and gums healthy. Dental check-ups don’t take long but they can reduce your risk of developing decay or gum disease. During your appointment, your mouth will also be checked for warning signs of oral cancer, an aspect particularly important for smokers. Smoking is one of the main risk factors for oral cancer so it’s important to visit your dentist more frequently if you smoke. Ideally, adults should visit a dentist every six months.
Brushing only cleans part of the mouth but it’s difficult to reach between the gaps of the teeth with a toothbrush. This is where flossing comes in handy as is designed to remove bacteria and food debris from between your teeth, helping to prevent plaque formation. Plaque is created when saliva binds food particles and bacteria together and is the main cause of tooth decay and gum disease. Dentists advise flossing daily for the best results, but if you struggle to use dental floss then inter-dental brushes are an alternative solution.
Visit a dental hygienist
Seeing a hygienist is beneficial for everyone, but it’s particularly advantages for smokers because smoking carries and increased risk of gum disease and enamel staining. Dental hygienists use advanced cleaning techniques to polish the teeth, remove plaque and tartar and make your mouth feel fresher. Most dentists recommend annual hygiene visits, but smokers benefit from more frequent sessions.
Clean your tongue
Smoking is linked to halitosis (bad breath) and this is often caused by bacteria build-up on the tongue combined with the toxic chemicals present in cigarettes. When you brush your teeth, take care to brush your tongue using a toothbrush or special tongue scraper. Doing so will remove bacteria and reduce your risk of suffering with bad breath.
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