Even more teens in North Carolina use tobacco than the national average, which means if your child lives in High Point, NC (where our office is), then they are at an increased risk for using tobacco products.
This fact is precisely why we are addressing vaping on our website. We know that vaping has a serious impact on our teen patients and their parents!
Why Are More Kids Vaping?
Vaping was intended to be a less harmful option for adult smokers. However, teens and young adults have embraced it for several reasons:
- Curiosity. Kids and teens are naturally curious, especially when they seen peers experimenting with something. Kids are likely to try each other’s vaping devices at parties or houses. Another way that kids are curious are when they see vaping videos and “cloud competitions” all over social media.
- Flavors. There are a wide range of flavors, and many were created with children in mind. Think “German Chocolate Cake”, “Fruit Punch”, and “Banana Split”.
8% of middle schoolers and high schoolers use smoking tobacco (like cigarettes). That is certainly a cause for concern. But did you know that 21% of middle schoolers and high schoolers are vaping?
The use of e-cigarettes is so high because teens believe that vaping is less dangerous than smoking tobacco. That simply is not true!
The Impact of Vaping on Teen’s Dental Health
All dental associations have advocated the vaping be stopped. There is just as much nicotine in vaping as in cigarettes.
It’s important that we talk to teens about the direct impact on their health right now (not just long term effects like lung cancer). Vaping can put teens at higher risk for pneumonia even in high school.
PLUS vaping can lead to serious lung infections. In fact, vaping increases a teen’s risk of contracting COVID-19 by 900%, according to research done at Stanford.
How to Decrease Your Child’s Risk for Vaping
None of us want our kids to suffer the health consequences associated with vaping. So how do we decrease the likelihood that they will?
- Talk openly and directly with your kids about vaping – especially when they are in middle school. Let them know that vaping is the same – if not worse – than smoking.
- If you are currently smoking, vaping, or dipping, consider stopping. Studies have shown that parental use of tobacco products puts children at a higher risk. Generational smoking is, in fact, one of the top factors of why kids smoke.
If you’d like more information about vaping, watch this short video.
Over the past couple of months, Dr. Joye Warr has given short chats via Facebook Live about different aspects of teen dental health. In the most recent video (above), Dr. Joye Warr talked about the impact of vaping on a teen’s teeth.
We’ve also covered:
- How a teen’s diet affects their dental health
- How teens brush a little bit differently
- How to approach a conversation about teeth whitening and bleaching with your teen
- How to decrease your teen’s risk of using tobacco
You can find all of Dr. Joye’s video chats about teen, toddler, and infant dental care on our YouTube channel.
Join our next Facebook Live on April 8 at 5:30 pm.
Dr. Joye will cover the effects of substance abuse on teen dental health.