Earlier this month, the American Cancer Society hosted its annual Great American Smokeout to encourage smokers to pick a day to work consistently towards quitting in order to reduce their risk of all the health complications that can result from being a smoker. But smoking doesn’t only affect the smoker. Those who live with a smoker can suffer similar health consequences to the smoker himself. This includes children. At our pediatric dental office in Long Island, our purpose is to keep kids healthy, and one way we can do that is by educating our community on the health concerns associated with secondhand smoke.
Secondhand Smoke & Cavities
One of the potential problems from secondhand smoke that specifically concerns your pediatric dentist in Long Island is the potential link between it and cavities. A study conducted by the American Dental Association (ADA) showed a low to moderate risk of an increase in cavities in baby teeth subjected to secondhand smoke. Besides the potential increased risk for cavities, there are numerous other reasons smokers should avoid smoking with a child around.
Smoking During Pregnancy
There’s a good reason for all the warnings for pregnant moms to avoid smoking or spending time around those who do smoke. Smoking or being exposed to secondhand smoke during pregnancy can cause serious concerns including:
- Low birth weight and perhaps an unhealthy baby
- Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)
- Premature birth
Smoking Near an Infant or Child
Children of smokers are at increased risk for several concerns that can affect not only their health, but the quality of their lives. Some of these risks include:
- More ear infections
- Longer, more frequent colds
As children grow, their bodies continue to develop. An exposure to secondhand smoke while growing up leaves children more likely to suffer problems later in life such as:
- Underdeveloped lungs
- Heart disease
- Lung cancer
What’s more, children who grow up in a smoking household are more likely to become smokers themselves.
Our Long Island pediatric dental office isn’t here to lecture but rather to help both our neighbors and neighborhood children live long, healthy lives. If you’re looking to quit smoking, there are plenty of resources online or in person you can use to help. We know it’s a difficult habit to break, but we believe you can do it!