Invisalign and Smoking: What Patients Should Know
More and more people are turning to Invisalign® to straighten their teeth. This clear alternative to traditional braces using transparent plastic retainers to gradually shift teeth into ideal position. Dr. Byron J. Nordhus has helped countless people in the Wichita, KS area have straight, healthy smiles thanks to Invisalign.
Many people interested in Invisalign wonder if they can still have cigarettes while undergoing treatment. They technically still can, but it’s a potentially a bad idea for many reasons. Let’s go over this topic below in greater detail.
Smoking Is Bad for Your Smile in So Many Ways
If you smoke, you already know the dangers involved. In addition to increasing your risk of lung disease and cardiovascular problems, smoking can also have a negative impact on your oral health.
Smoking can boost the chances of developing different kinds of oral cancer. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) notes that smoking doubles your chances of developing gum disease, which in turn increases your chances of losing a tooth or multiple teeth. In terms of smile aesthetics, smoking also causes discoloration of your smile, which can make you self-conscious around others.
How Smoking Affects Aligner Trays
It should come as no surprise that smoking can also have a negative effect on Invisalign treatment. That’s why patients at our Wichita practice are told to avoid smoking as much as possible during Invisalign treatment.
There are a few serious concerns for people who smoke while undergoing Invisalign. They are as follows:
- Staining/yellowing of the aligner trays
- Less time spent with aligners on
- Increased risk of gum disease
- Lingering bad breath
Let’s offer some advice to patients that can help address these issues.
If You Smoke, Only Smoke When Your Aligner Trays Are Out
Quitting smoking can be very difficult, and some patients do smoke while undergoing Invisalign treatment. To avoid staining the aligner trays, be sure to only smoke when you do not have your aligner trays on. A smoke just after a meal while your trays are out might be ideal if you have to have a cigarette.
Try to Cut Back on Smoking When Undergoing Invisalign
For Invisalign to be successful, you need to keep your aligner trays on for 22 hours a day. If you smoke too often, that could cut into the crucial treatment time required for each aligner in the treatment plan. We advise smokers to cut back on smoking so they can maximize the time each aligner tray is worn.
Consider Brushing Your Teeth After a Smoke
Smoking can leave your breath smelly and can increase the risk of gum disease. To avoid both of these issues, consider brushing and rinsing out your mouth after having a cigarette. This can also reduce the amount of tooth discoloration you experience.
Use Invisalign Treatment as an Excuse to Kick the Habit
If possible, you should consider quitting cigarettes (that includes e-cigarettes/vaping) before you undergo Invisalign treatment. There are many resources to help you kick the habit. Your general practitioner can help with the process, and we can also point you in the right direction if needed. It’s possible, and a healthier future is certainly something to smile about.
Learn More About Invisalign
For more information about Invisalign and how it can help you have a healthier smile and straight teeth, be sure to contact a skilled cosmetic and restorative dentist. The team at Nordhus Dentistry can be reached in Wichita by calling (316) 778-6543.