As hard as it may seem to believe, kids are still taking up smoking. In fact, your Pediatric Dentist will tell you that tweens and teens are puffing cigarettes and chewing smokeless tobacco products more than ever. Hookah pipes are becoming increasingly popular with teenagers and are just as dangerous as other tobacco products.
Although smoking is glamorized thanks to the tobacco industry, you still have more influence on your kids than the celebrities that smoke in the movies or on television.
If you suspect that your kids have started to smoke, sit down and have a heart to heart talk. Tell them how smoking can affect their bodies, including their teeth and gums. Explain to your sons and daughters that you do not want them to smoke. Consistent messages will get your point across making smoking less likely.
It’s never too early to talk to your kids about the dangers of smoking and smokeless tobacco products. Not only does smoking affect your children’s health, but it can also cause serious issues to their teeth and gums. Gum disease, horrible staining, and receding gums are just a few of the problems that can occur with smoking. Start giving your children powerful messages about the dangers of smoking as early as five years old. Those early warnings may prevent them from taking up the habit, which can begin as early as 10 or 11 years old. Kids that have started before the teen years will become addicted to smoking or smokeless tobacco products by the time they reach the tender age of 14.
If you smoke, kick the habit. According to NBC News, parents who smoke or use smokeless tobacco or more likely to produce children who develop the habit at an early age. Let your kids know how difficult it is to stop smoking and how much you wish you had never started.
Keep a smoke free policy in your home and if you have friends or family members who indulge, make sure that it is never allowed inside or near your children.
Know your kids friends and find out if they smoke. Peer pressure can result in your son or daughter taking their first puff leading to a dangerous addiction.
If you catch your kids smoking, avoid ultimatums, threats, and punishment. Your Pediatric Dentist advises that you ask your son or daughter what the attraction to smoking is and what can be done to help kick the habit.
Point out to your kids that the tobacco industry spends billions of dollars in order to make their products appealing. Kids, especially teens that smoke may become angry helping to motivate them into quitting all together.
If you would like more information regarding smoking and oral health, schedule an appointment with your Dentist who may be able to help you and your kids stop smoking.