10 Tips to Quit Smoking

Quitting smoking is one of the easiest ways to improve your dental health and ensure that your teeth last a lifetime. Smoking causes changes in the blood vessels that feed oxygen and nutrients to tissues and teeth, which can cause significant tooth loss and gum disease over time. If you would like to enjoy better oral health, consider these tips for quitting your smoking habit.

1. Join a Smoking Cessation Group

Your local hospital or medical association may conduct support groups for smoking cessation that can be helpful for your efforts to quit.

2. Try a Nicotine Substitute

Nicotine replacement therapies like patches, lozenges or gum can help control cravings while you change your smoking behavior.

3. Try Deep Breathing Exercises

Deep breathing exercises can be helpful in managing the cravings and anxiety that occurs when you quit smoking.

4. Talk to Your Doctor About Medications

Your doctor can provide prescription medications that help to control cravings when quitting smoking. Consider making an appointment to discuss your options.

5. Join a Gym

Going to the gym will provide hours of distraction to help you manage cravings. Plus, it can help you to maintain a normal weight if you find that quitting smoking makes you snack more frequently.

6. Avoid Triggers for Smoking

You will have to avoid attendance at your favorite bar or party where your smoking friends will be. These are incidents that can be "triggers" for intense cravings and should be avoided in the early phase of your recovery.

7. Learn to Meditate

Learning to meditate can provide you with a method of creating instant relaxation to overcome cravings and help you relax during tense moments. That way you're less likely to reach for a cigarette when you feel stressed.

8. Get a Massage Regularly

This is another great way to deal with stress in a healthy manner. A weekly massage could help provide deep relaxation that lasts for a period of time to help you through the early period of the quitting process.

9. Eat a Healthy Diet

If quitting increases your snacking behavior, choose healthy foods like whole-grains, vegetables and fruit, which are high in nutrition and low in calories.

10. Give Yourself a Reward

Plan a reward for getting through one week, two weeks and three weeks without smoking. Your reward could be a new outfit, a trip to a nearby attraction or some special object that you've been wanting.

Talk to your dentist about the importance of quitting smoking to improve your dental health and about tips that can help you become a healthier non-smoker.