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Oral Health Implications of Tobacco and Vaping Products

At Smiling Kids Pediatric Dentistry in Indianapolis, we prioritize educating parents and assisting adolescents in understanding the potential risks of tobacco and vaping on their oral health. Our team, led by Dr. Swati Singh, is here to provide guidance and preventative measures to safeguard adolescents’ oral health. 

The Oral Health Implications of Tobacco and Vaping Products

According to the CDC, the use of e-cigarettes among U.S. middle and high school students was prevalent, with over 2.5 million students, or approximately 1 in 10, reporting using e-cigarettes within 30 day period. Among high school students, about 14% reported current e-cigarette use, while 3% of middle school students were also using e-cigarettes. Compared to tobacco, about 4 of every 100 middle school students (4%) and about 1 in every 6 (16%) use tobacco products. 

Tobacco and vaping products pose significant risks to oral health. With the prevalence of vaping and tobacco products among younger generations, it is important to work toward educating them about the health risks these products can cause. Adolescents who use these products may experience the following oral health issues: 

  • Tooth Discoloration: Tobacco and vaping products can cause stubborn stains on the teeth, leading to discoloration that can’t be easily removed with brushing and flossing. 
  • Plaque and Tartar Buildup: These substances also promote plaque and tartar accumulation, which increases the risk of cavities and gum disease. 
  • Halitosis: Tobacco and vaping products can also contribute to persistent bad breath, which affects their social interactions and self-esteem. 
  • Delayed Healing: Any medical or dental procedures they may have will cause a delay in healing due to constricted blood vessels from nicotine. 
  • Gum Disease: These habits can cause gum inflammation, leading to gingivitis and periodontal disease if left untreated. 
  • Oral Cancer: Long-term use of tobacco and vaping products can increase the risk of developing oral cancer over time. 

Regarding the problems tobacco and vaping products pose, prevention and education are key to addressing the oral health implications of tobacco and vaping use. Here are some strategies that parents can use to help their children: 

  • Education: Try to educate your child about the potential harms of tobacco and vaping, emphasizing the impact these products have on their health.
  • Encouragement to Quit: Encourage a conversation between you and your child about why they’re vaping or smoking, understanding their needs and desires. Support them when making informed decisions about their body and help them quit tobacco and vaping products altogether. 
  • Good Oral Hygiene Practices: Emphasize the importance of good oral hygiene practices, including regular brushing, flossing, and mouthwash.
  • Regular Dental Checkups: Schedule a routine dental visit to detect and manage any developing oral health issues, and allow your child to learn about their oral health and participate in their care. 

Visit Smiling Kids Pediatric Dentistry in Indianapolis, IN, today!

At Smiling Kids Pediatric Dentistry in Indianapolis, IN, we understand that these products can be difficult to remove once introduced. However, our team is here to help you and your family in any way possible to give your child the best future for their oral health. To schedule an appointment and inquire about our services, call us at (317) 580-9199