Vaping is the “new smoking” that some say is a healthier alternative. But, while it may seem like it’s less harmful than tobacco smoke, the truth is that it has many consequences for your smile and overall health. In fact, it can put you at much greater risk for problems like cavities that require major work from a dentist in Waverly to repair. Keep reading below to learn about the impact of vaping and get valuable tips for how to quit and keep your smile in great shape at the same time.
How Can Vaping Put Your Smile At Risk?
Vaping affects your oral health in two main ways, both of which increase your risk of getting severe cavities:
- It causes dry mouth – Vaping liquid contains an ingredient called propylene glycol that breaks down into acids that lead to dry mouth. Normally, saliva neutralizes acids and has a natural anti-cavity effect. With dry mouth, you lose this protection. Dry mouth is also harmful to the soft tissues in your mouth, which need moisture to stay healthy. Dry mouth also causes bad breath as well.
- It increases plaque – Glycerin is another ingredient in vaping liquid that’s often combined with various flavors. Since it’s very sticky, it increases the plaque levels in your mouth and makes it easier for cavity-causing bacteria to adhere to your teeth.
How Can You Quit Vaping and Protect Your Oral Health?
Although people may tell you that vaping is healthier than smoking, here’s an analogy to keep in mind: Driving 100 miles an hour with a seat belt on is less risky than without one, but neither is truly safe. In addition to putting your smile at risk, vaping has recently been found to put your lungs and general health as well. Not to mention that it’s very expensive.
For all of these reasons, quitting is one of the best decisions you can make. Here are some tips to make it easier:
- Talk with your doctor or dentist about managing nicotine withdrawals.
- Find an alternative to occupy your hands like snacking on chopped veggies.
- Chew gum.
- If possible, avoid triggers for the first week or two such as socializing with people who vape.
- Remember that it will get easier with each passing day.
To keep your teeth and gums healthy moving forward, remember the basics: See a dentist in Waverly every six months for checkups, brush and floss consistently, and limit the sugars in your diet. These simple tips, along with quitting vaping, will keep your smile in great shape.
About the Author
Dr. Jonathon Smiley is a family dentist in Waverly and a graduate of the Southern Illinois University School of Dental Medicine. As part of his commitment to comprehensive dental care, he always talks to his patients about the impact of their everyday habits, including vaping, to help them maintain better oral and overall health. If you have any questions about vaping, you can reach Dr. Smiley via his website.