Why you should put away cigarettes when undergoing orthodontic treatment

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If you're in the habit of smoking, you may want to put the cigarettes away when receiving orthodontic treatment. Indeed, procedures such as braces, tooth realignment and corrective jaw surgery are all affected by frequent smoking.

Smoking puts you at risk of gum disease and tooth infections, which can affect the success of your specific procedure. Tobacco from cigarettes also tends to settle on the teeth and cause discolouration.

Here are more reasons why you should put the cigarettes away while preparing for orthodontic treatment.

1. Stiffening up tissues and bones

Smoking affects the health of tissues and bones around the mouth area. It causes tissues and blood vessels to become stiff/numb, decreasing the efficient flow of blood.

Therefore, during jaw surgery or when wearing braces, the tissues will be slower to respond to treatment. Your braces may take longer to realign the teeth, and surgery on the jawbone may take longer to heal.

2. Accumulation of plaque

Each puff of cigarette smoke contains around 4000 different chemicals. The toxins that are present in cigarette smoke tend to accumulate in your teeth and gums, causing the build-up of plaque.

Plaque causes tooth decay and gum infections, which in turn affect orthodontic treatment. For example, plaque reduces the efficiency of braces and aligners in restoring the correct position of teeth.

3. Smoking interferes with the success of treatment plans

Smoking has been shown to increase your risk of gum disease, tooth decay and bone loss. If you have poor oral health, the success of any orthodontic procedure is greatly reduced. For example, you can't realign your teeth if they're currently decayed or loosely attached to the gums.

With infected and/or swollen gums, orthodontic treatment takes longer to successfully carry out.

4. Staining of the teeth and increasing treatment times

Because cigarettes cause tooth staining (and yellowing of the teeth), treatment tools (such as tooth aligners) can become stained and hence less effective. Smoking also affects the movement of your teeth while they're responding to realignment in the mouth. This increases the length of treatment and reduces the success of any anticipated results.

5. Bad breathe

With the build-up of plaque in your teeth and gums, smoking may cause you to have bad breath while undergoing orthodontic treatment. Because of cigarette smoke, your braces or aligners may become breeding grounds for germs. This, in turn, may cause your friends to turn away anytime you speak.

Therefore, the best option is to minimise cigarette smoking as you draw closer to undergoing orthodontic treatment. Get in touch with an orthodontist for more information.