Invisalign® is a popular orthodontic treatment that uses clear aligner trays to make treatment discreet and comfortable.
When undergoing Invisalign at Boston Prosthodontics Dental Group, there are certain guidelines and restrictions that must be followed to ensure best results. For smokers, this means they should give up smoking during Invisalign treatment. Let's take a closer look at why Invisalign and smoking are a bad combination for our Boston, MA, patients.
Technically, it is possible to smoke while undergoing Invisalign treatment since the aligners are removable. However, it's not recommended that our Boston patients do so for several reasons. These reasons are described below.
It's not unusual for smokers to develop dental stains that range from yellow to brown. This is a result of the nicotine and tar in cigarettes staining the teeth. The same thing will happen to Invisalign aligners if smoking is not given up during treatment.
When aligners are worn while smoking, nicotine and tar can quickly stain the clear trays. Even if the trays are removed when smoking, the nicotine and tar that lingers in the mouth can discolor the aligners.
Although Invisalign aligners are designed to be removed when eating, brushing and flossing the teeth, and could be removed to smoke, they should be worn for at least 22 hours a day.
Wearing aligners less than 22 hours a day may interfere with treatment and cause progress to slow. If aligners are removed too frequently in order to smoke, it can potentially impact treatment and cause it to take longer for the teeth to become properly aligned.
Smoking isn't just bad for the aligners, it's also bad for the teeth and overall oral health.
Tobacco, nicotine, and tar from cigarettes can get caught between the aligners and the teeth, even if trays are removed when smoking.
This can cause the teeth and gums to be exposed to tobacco, nicotine, and tar for long periods of time, which can increase the risk of tooth discoloration, enamel erosion, tooth decay, and gum disease.
It's possible for smokers to successfully undergo Invisalign treatment, but it is best that they refrain from smoking during treatment to help ensure desirable results.
Invisalign treatment at our Boston practice can take six months to more than a year to complete, so smokers should be prepared to quit long term. It's often helpful for smokers to quit several weeks or months before treatment begins to allow themselves time to adjust.
Those who need help quitting may find it best to speak with their general practitioner, who can provide techniques for quitting or offer support through nicotine replacement medications.
To learn more about Invisalign, or to see if it's right for you, we welcome you to call (781) 890-4900 to schedule a consultation with our team at Boston Prosthodontics Dental Group.