I’m not going to lecture you in this article.

We’re all adults and aware that smoking is less than ideal for both your teeth and your general health. But does it impact orthodontic treatment too?

Possibly.

Invisalign is a life-changing treatment to straighten your teeth, but it can take months to get the result.

Now imagine if you’re a smoker, have your Invisalign aligners fitted and your dentist tells you that you can’t smoke for the duration.

We don’t want any unwelcome surprises when it’s too late so let’s answer this question now.

Can you smoke with Invisalign?

can you smoke with invisalign

There are two main issues regarding smoking with Invisalign

1. The aligners can stain

Smoking stains fingernails, teeth and also your Invisalign aligners.

Look at the photo above. The aligner bottom right shows the effect of smoking on the aligner after one week’s use. If you’re on a 2 weekly change then the staining will be even more pronounced. But it won’t be too noticeable while it’s in your mouth against your teeth so don’t worry too much.

2. You need to wear your trays 22 hours per day

  • You should only be removing your Invisalign aligners to eat for 2 hours per day. This gives you 40 minutes per meal to remove the aligners and no more.

If you don’t wear your aligners for 22 hour hours per day then your teeth simply won’t move and you’ll prolong your treatment time. This means there is no extra time to remove aligners for smoking.

If you have to smoke with Invisalign…

Ideally, if you smoke with Invisalign then wait until you remove the aligners to eat and smoke in this window. Brush your teeth then replace the aligners.

But don’t exceed the 2 hour removal time during the day. If you must smoke outside the removal times then leave them in.

Can you smoke a vape with Invisalign?

Vaping is a relatively new phenomenon developed only in the last few years. Because of this, we don’t have a lot of information on the effects of vaping and Invisalign trays.

If you look at the photo above though (the top tray) you’ll see after a week of vaping the trays have only mildly stained so smoking with the trays won’t be too detrimental.

The worry with vaping is the amount of time the vape is in your mouth while smoking. There’s no end to a vape so people tend to smoke it longer than a cigarette.

As you already know, Invisalign trays must be in your mouth for 22 hours per day or it’ll take longer to straighten your teeth. So like smoking, you need to be mindful of vaping times.

What can you clean your Invisalign trays with if you smoke?

Never use hot water as this will distort your aligners and scrubbing them won’t help either.

I’d recommend cleaning them with Retainer Brite which you can pick up from Amazon. This helps to remove tartar, plaque and smoking stains.

Or consider this…

So can you smoke with Invisalign? Yes, but you just have to be aware of the consequences.

Alternatively, you could think of this as an opportunity. Smoking is a habit and you’ll only stop if you replace it with another one, like wearing Invisalign trays.

You could contact NHS Stop Smoking who will be able to help you with nicotine replacement. Then either cut down to smoke only when you remove aligners to eat, or stop altogether.


AUTHOR

Dr Gareth Edwards Dentist AuthorDr Gareth Edwards BDS (Hons) MFDS RCPS (Glasg)  qualified as a dentist with honours. He has a keen interest in aesthetic dentistry, composite bonding, and is a certified Invisalign and Six Month Smiles provider, practicing in the Bournemouth and Poole area.

 

 

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