Smoking is proven to be harmful to your health. It deteriorates lung tissue, causes cancer, and can destroy your gums and teeth. The life expectancy for smokers is ten years shorter than the average human’s and it kills nearly a half million Americans every year. Our dentist, Dr. James Feldman, cares about your oral and overall health and strongly discourages any smoking, but they knows it is difficult to stop. To assist our patients that have a smoking habit, we have compiled a guide that is designed to help them stop. If this is you, we recommend that you read on so you can learn how break free of your addiction.
When the body intakes nicotine, your brain experiences a release of various hormone chemicals that create a sense of relief and pleasure. At first that sounds like a good thing, but shortly after smoking, the hormones drop to a lower level than before. In order to reach a stable level of hormones, your body needs another smoke. That is why you crave smoking. But it is possible to fight this desire, and we know you can. So, how do you do it?
- Remove smoking reminders. Objects such as cigarettes, pipes, ashtrays, matches, and lighters can create cravings. When you are around them, your brain is reminded of a quick fix to low hormone levels.
- Find good and healthy habits to replace your old ones. Chew sugar-free gum, eat nutritious snacks (celery, carrots, and sunflower seeds). When the craving comes, choose something that you will do. This can be work, service, music, sports, or other activities. It helps to choose activities that you are passionate about, so your brain receives satisfaction.
- Tell the people in your circles that you are quitting. You can find help in your family, coworkers, friends, community leaders, or elsewhere. There are groups like Nicotine Anonymous that will give you a support group. Google can tell you where meetings near you are.
- List the reasons why you are quitting. Whether it is for your health, to save money, or for your family, it is important to keep a list of reasons why you stopped smoking. If you already have oral conditions or other health problems, remember those as incentives to stop.
- Have someone to go to for immediate help. You can use a friend, family member, or you can call our practice, Feldman Dentistry at 202-362-8412. You can also call 1-800-QUIT-NOW for council.
All of us fully and confidently believe in you. Make sure to make a quitting plan as soon as possible, before the desire to smoke overcomes the desire to stop. Also, a fresh clean at our office will wash out leftover smoking residue, and make it easier to abstain. Make sure to make an appointment with our office in Washington, DC, by calling phone. With determination, a plan, and help from the people around you, we know you can break free of your smoking addiction.