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How to be Kissable While Kicking the Habit
AACD Dentists Give Teeth Cleaning Tips for Those Who Smoke

MADISON, Wis. (July 15, 2011) Rotting teeth images that are now gracing cigarette packs courtesy of the FDA show extreme dental problems that smokers face, but the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD) says smoking also causes a number of more common teeth hygiene problems that can impact health and ‘kissability.’
 
AACD dentists commonly see issues like increased plaque due to a build up of bacteria caused by smoking as well as increased wrinkles around the mouth, bad breath and yellow teeth. These issues can ultimately be total turnoffs in the romance department as well as have an impact on a patient’s overall self-esteem.

The FDA’s (Food & Drug Administration) campaign to bring awareness to the negative health impacts of smoking is winning support from American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD) members nationwide who are encouraging their patients, especially teens and young adults, to kick the habit.

“While we are greatly concerned about the longer-term serious risks that smokers face, such as cancers of the mouth, throat and esophagus, we also want to make smokers aware that are things that can be done now to improve their smiles,” says AACD President Dr. John K. Sullivan of Tulare, Calif.

Dr. Sullivan notes that AACD member dentists see a number of teens and young adults who have become addicted to smoking who are up against oral care issues down the road. “For the young adult population, health issues don’t resonate, but cosmetic issues do,” he says.

AACD dentists advise patients that in order to improve their smiles and ‘kissability’ factor:

  1. Use an electric toothbrush for optimal daily cleaning; especially after smoking.
  2. Floss daily.
  3. Schedule an appointment every 6 months to have teeth cleaned and tar removed. Patients will have a better whitening result and fresher breath once bacteria in between and on the surfaces of the teeth are eliminated.
  4. Consider an easy cosmetic procedure to immediately enhance teeth, such as in-office power whitening.

How in-office Power Whitening works: A whitening gel containing a high concentration of hydrogen peroxide is applied to the teeth and activated with a special light to gently penetrate the tooth to remove deep stains and discoloration. Professional whitening can brighten teeth at least 6 and up to 12 shades whiter. In cases where severe tobacco stains are involved, problem areas can be addressed with the addition of a dentist-supervised at home whitening system.

Dr. Sullivan also notes that “once someone whitens their teeth, they usually want to keep it that way and will choose to avoid those things that re-stain the teeth, like smoking.”

The current CDC smoking and tobacco use fact sheets show that while the overall smoker population has declined over the years, thousands of young people and adults begin smoking every day.

  • Each day, about 3,450 young people between 12 and 17 years of age smoke their first cigarette.
  • Each day, about 850 persons younger than 18 years of age begin smoking on a daily basis.
  • Each day, about 2,200 adults 18 years of age or older begin smoking on a daily basis.

Teeth whitening remains the most requested cosmetic dental procedure. It’s also the most affordable. Due to the nature of tobacco stains, AACD recommends that patients consult with their local AACD member dentists to review options for brightening their smile through an in-office professional whitening procedure.

About AACD
The American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry® (AACD) is dedicated to advancing excellence in the art and science of cosmetic dentistry and encouraging the highest standards of ethical conduct and responsible patient care.