Can You Smoke with Clear Braces?

Can You Smoke with Clear Braces?

Jun 10, 2022

It is a well-known fact that smoking is dangerous to your health. According to research, cigarettes produce more than 7,000 chemicals, including nicotine, tar, acetone, carbon monoxide, lead, and arsenic. Some of these chemicals are toxic and are known for causing lung cancer. But it doesn’t stop there; smoking can affect your overall health.

When undergoing oral procedures such as dental implants and gum surgery, your oral surgeon will likely warn you about smoking 48 hours before and after the procedure. Smoking before and after surgery can delay healing and cause life-threatening complications.

Smoking with clear braces is a bad idea. It would be best to quit smoking before getting your braces treatment. It is crucial for the treatment and your overall well-being. Contact our dentist in Westwood, MA, for more information.

How Smoking Affects your Clear Braces Treatment

Orthodontic treatment requires great maintenance efforts. You must wear your aligners for 20-22 hours daily. You must remove them when eating or drinking. Then you have to brush your aligners before putting them back on.

Therefore, anyone undergoing the treatment will want to get results as soon as possible. Unfortunately, smoking during your treatment can delay the effectiveness of your treatment and prevent you from reaching your desired results.

There are multiple ways how smoking can impact your orthodontic treatment, including:

  • Smoking reduces blood flow.

One of the most troubling impacts of smoking is reduced oxygen flow in the bloodstream. Apart from affecting your lung function, reduced oxygen flow also affects your gums. When gums can’t get the necessary nutrients and oxygen to function normally, it leads to swelling, redness, and even gum recession. Over time, the condition can worsen, leading to gum disease, tooth decay, bone infection, loose tooth, and tooth loss.

Since wearing braces involves pulling the teeth to shift them to the desired position, smoking can make the process uncomfortable and more challenging. If you develop tooth decay or gum disease, your dentist may have to pause your orthodontic treatment to address them, delaying your results further.

  • Smoking cause teeth stains and yellowing.

Even without the braces, teeth staining is an avoidable side effect of smoking. Smoking damages the enamel and leaves residues of tar and other harmful chemicals in the teeth leading to staining. Smoking with braces means that you could be trapping these chemicals close to your teeth for longer. It puts you at a greater risk of teeth staining, yellowing, and gum disease.

  • Smoking reduces saliva flow.

Another challenge of smoking during orthodontic treatment is reduced saliva flow in the mouth. Enough saliva is necessary to wash away bacteria and debris from your mouth. Inadequate saliva can lead to a dry mouth, affecting the saliva cleansing process. Your mouth will become a breeding ground for harmful bacteria and plaque, eventually leading to bad breath, gum infections, and tooth decay. With the braces on, you magnify the risks.

In summary, smoking with your braces exposes you to numerous oral health issues like:

  • Gum disease and receding gums
  • Tooth decay
  • Loose teeth and tooth loss
  • Weakened immune system
  • Dry mouth
  • Jawbone damage
  • Unsightly yellow or stained teeth
  • Bad breath
  • Oral cancer
  • Delayed healing and recovery from infections and treatments

What if I have to smoke?

Quitting smoking is an excellent decision for your orthodontic treatment and overall well-being. You should wait until you remove the aligners if you must smoke during your orthodontic treatment – perhaps during the eating window.

After eating and smoking, brush and floss thoroughly and then wear the aligners back. Ensure you don’t remove your braces too often and exceed the 2–4-hour removal time.

Schedule an Appointment Today

Are you looking for Invisalign in Westwood, MA, or would you like to learn more about orthodontic treatments? Contact Westwood Dental Group to book your appointment today.

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