It has been a known fact for decades that tobacco and other nicotine products can cause serious oral health issues. Vaping is becoming an increasingly popular way to consume nicotine and is often portrayed as a safe alternative to cigarettes. However, since vapes are a relatively new product, not all the long-term side effects are known.
The American Dental Association states that vaping is not a safe alternative to cigarettes and could be just as damaging to the teeth and gums. Nicotine reduces blood flow in the mouth, which damages the gum tissue and can potentially lead to gum recession. Nicotine users often experience swollen and inflamed gums, increasing their risk of cavities, tooth sensitivity, and other oral issues.
Vaping or using other nicotine products has the potential to negatively affect your orthodontic treatment. If the gums are unhealthy from nicotine use, it can hinder your teeth’ ability to respond to the pressure being applied from orthodontic appliances. Since the teeth are unable to move as fast, treatments may take longer than expected.
Vaping has also earned a reputation for staining teeth. This is particularly concerning for individuals with braces because this can cause the teeth to have dramatic color differentiation between the exposed part of the tooth and the areas where the brackets were covering. Avoiding vaping during treatment can help prevent staining and potential teeth whitening treatments.Clear aligner patients are also not in the clear when it comes to vaping during treatment. Clear aligners can be stained if you vape while wearing them. The heat from the vapor could possibly damage the aligners and make them ineffective.
Remember, nicotine products are never good for your oral health. When you are undergoing orthodontic treatment, taking care of your teeth is more important than ever. Avoid nicotine products and practice excellent oral hygiene to set yourself up for a successful treatment. Straightening your smile is a huge financial and personal investment, don’t let nicotine stand in your way of achieving your dream!