About 15% of the population smoke cigarettes or regularly use tobacco products in the United States alone. About 50% percent of all Americans are on Invisalign treatment or highly considering it. Many of those considering Invisalign treatment are concerned about whether they can continue to smoke while wanting to straighten out their smiles. The truth is many orthodontists, and doctors highly recommend avoiding smoking at all costs due to its effects on oral and general health.
It is no surprise that using tobacco products and smoking is just as bad on teeth and the oral part of the body as much as they are on the rest of the body. While there are numerous general effects of smoking, the main one’s orthodontists and dentists are concerned about are those of increased risk of gum disease, risk of cancer within the oral cavity that could potentially spread to the rest of the body, discoloration, and rapid tooth decay that may lead to the loss of teeth. Some other hygienic effects may include chronic bad breath and dry mouth to the constant smoking. The reason why orthodontists and patients become concerned with this is due to the chance that because the teeth are not being properly taken care of, treatment may be prolonged or ineffective at all.
While there are already countless contributing factors relating to smoking, smoking while on Invisalign treatment raises a few more concerns for those patients who continue to smoke while on a treatment plan. Smoking while on Invisalign can cause discoloration in the teeth and discoloration within the Invisalign retainers, which becomes a cloudy color noticeable to the general public. These stains become very difficult to get rid of and may cause patients to replace their retainers more often, resulting in higher costs. Another very concerning factor is the time consumed by daily smoke breaks and an interception with the treatment itself. By general advice, Invisalign retainers should be worn a maximum of 22 hours a day and should only be removed for eating and cleaning. However, those who take consistent smoke breaks reduce the time their device resides in their mouth, which minimizes the time the retainers have to straighten that patient’s teeth. Ultimately resulting in less accurate or pleasant results.
If a patient decides to continue smoking while wearing Invisalign, there are a few ways they can minimize the potential damage to themselves and the Invisalign retainers.
Proper cleaning techniques are always a good way to keep patients and their retainers hygienically healthy and more effective. By simply brushing and flushing 2 times a day, retainers should be kept clean and refreshed. However, if there is heavy build-up, patients may want to consider using other cleansing products such as cleansing crystals to remove tough stains. To learn more about the effectiveness of cleansing crystals, visit Sacks Orthodontics for more information.