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Invisalign® has so many advantages over traditional orthodontic treatment. Rather than brackets and wires, Invisalign uses clear plastic trays that are easy to wear and difficult to detect. Its’s why so many people throughout Queens, Long Island, and NYC come to our practice for Invisalign.

Yet the team at Astoria Dental Group acknowledges the realities of people undergoing treatment. There are many smokers out there who undergo Invisalign, and they wonder if their habit affects treatment results. Dr. Clifford Degel and Dr. Carmen Every-Degel offer some honest insight and advice for smokers undergoing Invisalign.

How Smoking Harms Your Dental Health

Smoking is bad for you for so many reasons. Just in terms of dental health, smoking has the following adverse effects:

  • Increased risk of gum disease
  • Stains/discoloration on the teeth
  • Increased risk of tooth loss
  • Increased risk of oral cancer
  • Chronic bad breath
  • Dry mouth

In addition to its impact on your dental health, smoking also has the following negative effects on general wellness:

  • Increased risk of lung disease
  • Increased risk of heart disease
  • Increased risk of high blood pressure

Quitting tobacco products can be difficult, of course, which is why many people wonder about smoking and the use of chewing tobacco when they are undergoing orthodontic care such as Invisalign.

Smoking and Its Effect on Invisalign Aligners

If you smoke with your aligner trays on, you are likely to face the following problems:

  • Stained Invisalign aligners that are extremely noticeable
  • Lingering bad breath that lasts through the day
  • Increased risk of gum disease during Invisalign treatment
  • Less time with aligners on, risking Invisalign failure

These risks are nothing to laugh abut, which is why we offer the following advice to smokers who are undergoing Invisalign treatment.

Only Smoke When Aligner Trays Are Out of Your Mouth

If you do have to smoke, only light up when your Invisalign trays are out of your mouth. This will prevent stains from appearing on your aligner trays. That will keep them difficult to detect when you have them on. The same goes for people who use chewing tobacco.

Brush and Floss After Having a Cigarette

Given the smell in your mouth after having a cigarette, it’s a good idea to brush and floss your teeth after you have a cigarette. This will prevent staining on the aligners as well as reduce the risk of gum disease, tooth discoloration, and other adverse effects on oral hygiene from smoking.

Limit the Number of Cigarettes You Have

Most importantly, we encourage smokers who are undergoing Invisalign to cut back on the amount they smoke each day. For Invisalign to be effective, patients have to keep their trays on for about 22 hours per day. If you smoke frequently, this can eat into that maximum amount of time your aligner trays can be out of your mouth.

Try to have just one or two cigarettes a day if you absolutely have to have a smoke. Limiting the amount of cigarettes you have will be extremely helpful for the success of treatment.

The Ideal Solution: Quit Smoking for Good

This may be easier said that done, but patients may want to use Invisalign treatment as a convenient excuse to finally kick the habit for good. We can provide you with resources that can make quitting much easier for you. This is something we will be more than happy to discuss during the consultation process.

Contact Astoria Dental Group

For more information about Invisalign and why it may be ideal for you, be sure to contact a skilled cosmetic and restorative dentist. If you live in Queens, New York City, or on Long Island, you can reach us by phone at (718) 831-6071.

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