Mar 30, 2011
Smoking is certainly not a healthy habit – most people should know this by now, and those who do smoke generally understand that they will eventually face the consequences. Some smokers turn to chewing tobacco, in the hopes that this habit will prove less detrimental to one’s health. Yet while chewing tobacco can have less of an impact on certain aspects of a healthy body, it is also a habit that will continue to wreak havoc on your teeth, your body and especially your oral health. It can be a process when attempting to quit smoking or chewing tobacco and one great way to help encourage yourself to quit these habits is to whiten your teeth. So while in the process of quitting these habits, what else can those hooked on their cigarettes or chewing tobacco do to lessen the impact on their teeth and to keep them reasonably white?
First, maintaining proper oral hygiene is critical for the tobacco aficionado. This of course means regular brushing and flossing, without fail, as well as regular checkups at the dentist. Then, there are a few other things the tobacco user can do in order to protect one’s teeth and keep them whiter while in the process of quitting smoking:
- Baking soda and hydrogen peroxide brushing. Make a paste from these ingredients and gently brush your teeth to remove tobacco stains. You can do this up to 3 times daily, and then rinse your mouth out without swallowing any of the solution.
- Brush with a whitening toothpaste after every meal, and use an antibacterial mouthwash to further prevent stain buildup.
- Rinse your mouth after you smoke –even if you use just water rather than mouthwash, this can still be useful.
While these tactics may work for a while to stave off teeth stains, tobacco is insidious in its determination to stain teeth. Superficial stains can be removed or lessened by using the above techniques and preventative measures, but tobacco and tar accumulate on the surface of a tobacco user’s teeth, and eventually these stains will work themselves into the tooth enamel itself, turning your teeth a darker color and necessitating a professional tooth whitening treatment. This generally involves either the use of a tray that one wears at night to allow a whitening gel to work its way into the teeth, or an in-office procedure such as Zoom whitening. Both of these procedures work by oxygenating the teeth and thus chemically altering and eliminating the stains.
Without these precautions and without potential whitening treatments as needed, eventually the tobacco user’s teeth can become a relatively dark brown color, which will be all the more difficult, if not impossible, to rectify. Many of our Top Dentists offer new and improved methods of whitening teeth, which are safer, faster and more efficient than do-it-yourself teeth whitening options. Find a dentist who can help you choose the best tooth whitening option for you and even offer you tips for successfully quitting smoking or chewing tobacco.