As parents, we don’t want to believe that our teens might be so sneaky as to hide vaping from us. We like to think, too, that we’d notice if they picked up this habit. Studies indicate, however, that many teens successfully hide their vaping habit from their parents. After all, unlike traditional cigarettes, vaping won’t leave your teen smelling like an ashtray. So how is a parent to know if their teen might be vaping? Keeping reading to discover 10 signs your teen may be vaping.
Here are 10 Signs Your Teen May Be Vaping
1. Social Media Content about Vaping
If you search #vapetricks on Instagram, you’ll have over 4,745,100 posts to scroll through. Searching #vapingtricks will give you over 40,000 more if you’re still curious. Teen vaping culture is definitely a reality. If your teen follows vaping influencers like Austin Lawrence, consider starting a conversation. Even if they are not vaping yet, following and liking vaping culture posts suggests they may be thinking about trying it. Start a conversation to stop the behavior before it goes any further than an interest.
2. Increased Thirst
As we mentioned above, vaping dries out your teen’s mouth, throat, and nose. Many vapers, as a result, feel thirsty constantly. If your teen is drinking more than usual, it may be time to investigate why. Increased thirst can be a sign of other health problems, too, so it’s always worth investigating.
3. More Frequent or New Nosebleeds
A dry nose also can lead to nosebleeds. If your teen wakes up with nosebleeds and your home’s humidity level hasn’t changed, consider what other causes may be at play. It may be allergens or it may be a vaping habit.
4. Increased Irritability, Especially During Breaks from School
Nicotine addiction causes irritability when the addiction cannot be fed. For teens who sneak e-cigarettes when away from home, weekends and school breaks can cause bouts of nicotine withdraw. Of course, with teens, moodiness can be par for the course. Nicotine cravings, though, can add restlessness, increased appetite, anger, and frustration to the mix if teens can’t get that fix.
5. Night-Time Cough that Doesn’t Go Away
If your teen isn’t suffering from a cold or allergies, a night-time cough may signal a vaping habit. The inhaled vapors can irritate the airway just like traditional cigarettes. A constant clearing of the throat or a cough when lying down signals airway irritation that may be due to vaping.
6. Blisters on Fingers and/or Mouth
Vaping requires teens to light up their cartridge filled with e-juices. Teens often get blisters on their fingers trying to manipulate the lighter and hot cartridges. Likewise, some cartridges have been known to explode and cause blistering on the mouth, too.
7. Strange USB or Electronic Parts in Pockets, Trash, Backpacks
E-cigarette juices come in cartridges of different sizes and shapes. Some are disguised to look like USB drives, while others look like pens. In addition, vaping requires the user to change out and replace parts. Thus, if you find odd electrical pieces and parts on your teens’ dresser or in pockets, it may be time to ask what they are.
Common Vape Sizes and Shapes. Examples of Small Vape Parts.
8. Unusual Fatigue
Nicotine addiction disrupts sleep activity. It also causes the muscles in the throat to relax and possible obstruct the airway during sleep. As a result, teens who vape, often wake numerous times and/or snore, so even a full night’s sleep leaves a vaping teen feeling exhausted in the morning. Nasal breathing is important for your teen’s optimal oral and overall health. (Read The Five Major Benefits of Nasal Breathing to learn more about the importance of nasal breathing and your teen’s health.)
9. Bad Breath and/or Stained Teeth
Even with regular brushing, a vaping teen often suffers from bad breath. The dry mouth coupled with increased bacteria levels mean an unnatural pH balance in the mouth. Strong bad breath often results. Likewise, vaping also causes stains and cavities. To learn more, check out our blog How Vaping Harms Your Teen’s Teeth.
10. Friends (or Family) Who Vape
Teens who have a friend or family member who vapes is more likely to vape. Ask them how they feel about this behavior to determine how likely they might be to copy it. And if you are the one who vapes, consider being open with them about why you’d never want them to copy your habit.
Talk to Your Dentist if You See Signs Your Teen is Vaping
Talking to teens about tough topics like vaping can intimidate even the most confident parents. If you suspect your teen might be vaping, consider talking to their pediatric dentist. Your dentist will appreciate the heads-up to look for indicators and/or damage from vaping. They will also be able to talk to your teen about the risks to their oral health and take the eye rolls for you in the process! The risks are too great, not to. Not only can their oral health suffer, but teens who vape are also more likely to smoke traditional cigarettes in the future.
Call Great Beginnings Pediatric Dentistry for Your Teen
The dentists at Great Beginnings Pediatric Dentistry help caregivers and teens achieve the best oral and overall health possible by tackling topics like teen vaping, nutrition, airway health, and oral health habits. They are taking new patients under the age of 16 in their pediatric dental office on the border of Solon and Twinsburg, Ohio. Their minimally invasive dentistry and laser dentistry mean no needles and fewer treatments for teens and kids.
This blog is not intended as medical advice.
Only your teen’s pediatric dentist can offer sound advice after completing a comprehensive oral and airway health exam. We hope this informational blog will encourage caregivers and teens to talk with their dentist and doctor about the many risks of vaping, so they can quit this habit.