What Effect Can Smoking Have on Orthodontic Treatment?

Smoking is harmful to your health – not only can it leads to cancer and heart disease, it can also negatively affect your oral health. Smoking can cause tooth discoloration, bad breath, and can contribute to periodontal disease. But can it have an effect on your orthodontic treatment?

“Smoking can absolutely affect orthodontic treatment, and in a very negative way,” says Dr. Nima Hajibaik. “If you are undergoing Invisalign treatment, smoking can discolor the aligners. Smoking can even negatively affect the ability of your teeth to move.”

Why would that be? Smoking can affect the tissues in your body. In order to move properly, the tissue and bones must be healthy.

If you already have a poor oral hygiene routine, smoking will only make the problems you face worse. It can cause yellowing stains on teeth, and can lengthen the amount of time you spend in braces.

Because smoking can be a cause of gum and periodontal disease, and these conditions make your gums swollen, infect and sore, it can take longer for your orthodontic treatment to be effective.

According to the American Association of Orthodontists: “If you smoke cigarettes, cigars or pipes, or use smokeless tobacco, you are placing yourself at higher risk for a variety of oral health problems that can reduce or delay the success.”

Smoking constricts blood vessels in gums, bones, and in periodontal ligaments. It also promotes bone loss and gum disease.

Good oral health is the key to a healthy mouth and gums. Preventing gum disease involves brushing, flossing, regular cleanings, and routine visits to your dentist and orthodontist while wearing braces.

Braces require more time and care when brushing and flossing, and habitual smoking can undermine the hard work you put into it each day.

Some might consider making a switch to smokeless tobacco while in orthodontic treatment to satiate their habit. However, it will have the same negative impact as smoking. It can stain ceramic braces, ligatures, and Invisalign braces and can also get caught in the brackets of the braces which can further cause yellowing stains on teeth.

To ensure a healthy mouth, it is best to quit tobacco use of all kinds. Not only will your mouth thank you, you might just be adding years to your life, too.