Can I Use Invisalign if I Smoke? By Dr. Nathaniel Podilsky on March 11, 2020

Male in dress shirt holds out a cigarette that has been broken in twoIf you are considering undergoing Invisalign® treatment at our Edmonton, AB, dental practice, Dr. Nathaniel Podilsky will need to know if you use tobacco products and how often you use them. Tobacco use is linked to a wide range of oral health problems. For users of Invisalign trays, these side effects can include the increased risk of tooth decay and discoloration.

Smoking is not always a barrier to gaining candidacy for clear aligners. During your visit to our office, Dr. Podilsky can discuss more about Invisalign and smoking.

What Are the Risks Associated with Smoking While Using Invisalign?

Tobacco products can lead to a wide range of dental problems. The chemicals found in cigarettes have been linked to lower jawbone density, poor healing following surgery, and an increased risk of oral cancer.

Aligner and Tooth Discoloration

The main problem associated with Invisalign use is cosmetic. Invisalign’s SmartTrack material is both durable and largely invisible when worn. Many of our patients seek clear aligners because the trays cannot be seen when they are kept clean.

Smokers and users of other tobacco products (including vaping and smokeless tobacco) may experience aligner discoloration. Tobacco and other particles found in cigarettes can form a darkish film on the surface of your aligners. The film can leave teeth appearing dark and unattractive.

Tooth Decay

The layer of tobacco particles can even place you at greater risk of tooth decay. If you are unable to cease smoking or using tobacco products while undergoing Invisalign treatments at our Edmonton dental practice, there are steps you can take to lower your risk of unpleasant side effects.

Tips for Preventing and Reducing Tobacco-related Discoloration

Maintaining your aligners is easier for light and social smokers. The best rule of thumb is to avoid smoking when your aligners are in. Doing so prevents the tobacco particles from becoming trapped inside the trays, where they slowly form a hard-to-remove film.

Some people find that the easiest way to do this is to only smoke before or after they eat. Eating requires removal of the aligner trays, and tying the two actions together may be more convenient. If possible, Invisalign users should brush or use mouthwash to clean the mouth after smoking.

Any steps that prevent the accumulation of tobacco products in the aligner trays will greatly lower your risk of discoloring the trays. Occasionally brushing your trays throughout the day using lukewarm water and a soft-bristled toothbrush helps to remove debris before it calcifies and potentially causes tooth decay.

Heavy smokers may not be able to maintain clear aligner trays. Dr. Podilsky will help determine your candidacy for Invisalign during your consultation at our Edmonton dental practice. If you have concerns about the appearance of your teeth, our office offers laser teeth whitening, which can brighten your smile by several shades.

Schedule Your Invisalign Treatment Today

By taking simple steps to prevent discoloration of your Invisalign trays, you can ensure that your cosmetic treatment remains discreet and aesthetically pleasing. Our goal is to provide nothing less than first-class dental care. To schedule your Invisalign treatment, please contact our office online or call (780) 900-6435.

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Dr. Podilsky

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Dr. Podilsky is qualified to care for your smile:

  • Over 40 years of experience
  • Membership with the Canadian Dental Association
  • Dedicated to ongoing training 
  • Membership with the College of Dental Surgeons of Alberta

To schedule your consultation, contact us online or call us today at (780) 428-6846.

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