Now That You've Quit Smoking, It's Time To Treat Your Teeth
Whether you decided to do it drastically with the cold turkey approach, or gradually tapered off with the aid of nicotine replacement therapy, it's good that you've stopped smoking. Your lungs will feel cleaner (and stronger), and your overall health and well-being will be noticeably improved. As part of your farewell to smoking, you should schedule an appointment with your dentist—because, as a smoker, you might not be overjoyed with the color of your teeth.
Start With a General Checkup
A general dental checkup is a really good idea for anyone who has recently quit smoking. The act of smoking results in decreased circulation in your gingival tissues (gums). This means that the inflammation associated with certain gum diseases (primarily gingivitis) can be masked by smoking. Smoking also leads to dry mouth, which is a decreased production of saliva. Without saliva to neutralize corrosive elements in your mouth, you're at a greater risk of decay. So a visit to the dentist is a smart idea, just to ensure that any necessary dental treatment can take place.
Time for a Deep Cleaning
Hopefully, you've still been maintaining a high standard of oral hygiene, so decay and gum disease aren't a significant concern, despite your smoking. However, it's more than likely that accumulated tar and nicotine have discolored your teeth, leading to that telltale yellow staining. You might want to start whitening your teeth, but don't get ahead of yourself. You'll need a professional deep dental cleaning, involving scaling and polishing. This will rid your dental enamel of years of extrinsic staining caused by the consumption of tar and nicotine, helping to restore your dental enamel's natural color. It won't be entirely pristine yet, but any whitening efforts will now yield far more success.
Ready for Whitening
Now that your teeth have been professionally cleaned, you're in a better place to begin whitening. For the best accuracy, you may wish to have your dentist perform the work. This allows for immediate results and also overcomes any color mismatches in your smile (some of your teeth may have been more discolored than others). You can then maintain your results at home, using a whitening toothpaste or a home whitening kit.
Once you've kicked your smoking habit for good, it's time to treat your teeth to a good, deep cleaning. This is the first step to restoring them to their former glory, which should give you something to smile about.
For more information, contact a local company like Family Dentistry Of Woodstock.