Smoking and Your New Invisalign Aligners: What You Need to Know

Invisalign can be a marvel for those who might not want traditional dental braces for whatever reason. You might prefer the discreet nature of the system, or you might find the idea of traditional braces to be too invasive. One of the advantages of the system is that it can be removed for eating and drinking, so that you never have to worry about getting food stuck in your braces, as can often by the case with a traditional system. There might be another treat that you pop into your mouth from time to time, and this is something that you would probably do while wearing your invisalign system, without even thinking about it. But can you smoke while wearing invisalign?

Plastic Discolouration

In short, you can of course technically smoke while wearing invisalign, but you should avoid doing so. Invisalign retainers and aligners are made from medical-grade polyurethane resins. While this is an extremely high quality type of plastic, it's still a plastic, and this means that your invisalign retainers and aligners can easily become discoloured by the nicotine in your cigarettes.

Smoking Breaks

The obvious solution is to in fact give up smoking, but it's rarely that easy! Discuss the matter with your dentist. While you should only remove the system when eating or drinking, brief (though periodic) removals in order to smoke can be possible. While prolonged removal of the system can reduce its effectiveness, short breaks can be permitted. But this can only be determined if you know how frequently these breaks will occur. Do you know how many cigarettes you smoke in a day? It might be a good idea to note your consumption in an average day before your invisalign system is fitted. Then you will know roughly how many times in a day you would want to remove the system. Depending on how much you smoke, this might not be feasible, so smoking with the invisalign system might require you to reduce your daily cigarette consumption in order for the system to remain effective.

In Case of Discolouration

If you should forget about the potential discolouration and smoke cigarettes while wearing the system, the effects can be difficult to reverse. Only ever clean the system using the recommended methods, and do not use any type of additional cleaning agent in an effort to remove the nicotine stains, as this could potentially distort the retainer or aligner. It might be that you will need to simply live with the discolouration until the next set of aligners are introduced, so it won't be a particularly long wait.

So while smoking with invisalign is possible, it's important to ensure that you don't discolour the aligners, nor that you have them out for too long.