Resisting peer pressure can be hard for teens. But when it comes to smoking especially, it's important that parents arm them with the tools they need to resist – both for their long-term health, and for their oral health.
These days most people know about the many health risks associated with smoking, especially when it comes to lung cancer and heart disease. But many of us don't consider the specific oral health issues that smoking can cause.
While some of these oral health issues, such as bad breath and tooth discolouration, have primarily social or aesthetic fallout. But when they start smoking, teens take some very serious oral health risks as well.
Smoking increases the buildup of plaque and tartar on the teeth. The acid in this plaque eats away at tooth enamel and dentin, causing cavities and tooth sensitivity.
The excess tartar and plaque also contribute to the development of gum disease. In turn, Ggm disease can eventually result in tooth loss, and loss of jaw bone density.
And of course, smoking also increases the risk of oral cancer.
How can I prevent my teen from smoking?
One of the best way to stop your teen from smoking is by talking to him or her about the risks associated with it, thereby arming them with the information they need to make an informed decision.
Start talking to your children about the risks of smoking as soon as they’re old enough to understand. But don't feel bad if you haven't had a chat about smoking yet; it’s never too late to start!
Prepare a bit in advance by doing some research, and then sit down together for a serious, straightforward discussion about the risks associated with smoking.
The talk doesn't need to be a long one, but try to go over all of the more serious health issues in detail. And don’t forget to mention things like bad breath and discoloured teeth! Teenagers tend to feel a bit invincible when it comes to their health, but they can also be very self-conscious about their appearances, and what their friends think of them. That means that bringing up the social issues that can arise as a result of smoking might have a bigger impact than the scary health issues!