If you’ve recently started wearing braces and happen to be a fan of vaping, you might be curious about whether these two can go hand in hand. The fact is vaping and braces can pose some challenges, and there are crucial factors to consider. Let’s examine this topic thoroughly to give you the information required to make a well-considered decision about vaping while undergoing orthodontic treatment.
Understanding Vaping and E-Cigs
Vaping, unlike traditional smoking, involves inhaling vapor created by electronic cigarette devices, which are commonly referred to as vapes or vaporizers. In the vaping market, you’ll find popular disposable options like Lost Mary 5000 vape and Funky Republic vapes. In addition to these, there are refillable e-cigarettes that give vapers the freedom to select their preferred e-juices.
These vape devices function by heating a specialized liquid known as e-juice or vape juice. Typically, e-juice comprises ingredients such as vegetable glycerin, propylene glycol, a variety of flavorings, and, in some instances, nicotine. Vaping offers a smoking-like experience without the harmful tar, smoke, and residue associated with traditional cigarettes.
Propylene Glycol: Vaping exposes you to harmful chemicals, including propylene glycol, which adds sweetness to the vapor. This sweetness can adhere to your enamel, leading to cavities and gum disease. Propylene glycol is a major ingredient in vaping, and it’s also found in antifreeze and plane de-icing solutions.
Vegetable Glycerine: Vaping solutions contain vegetable glycerine, a sugar alcohol that aids in delivering other chemicals into your body. Being a sugar alcohol, it can settle on your teeth and gums, accelerating tooth and gum decay. Repairing cavities or gum disease can slow your orthodontic treatment, making it longer than expected. Additionally, as a vapor, it can settle anywhere in your mouth, including around your braces brackets, which your toothbrush might not effectively reach.
Nicotine and Other Chemicals: Vaping liquids contain nicotine, a highly addictive and harmful substance. They can also contain cancer-causing chemicals used for flavoring, which can lead to cancers, including mouth and throat cancers.
How Vaping Affects Braces
One common issue with vaping while wearing braces is the potential for staining. The tiny particles in vape aerosol can stick to the metal brackets, wires, and rubber bands of your braces, leading to unsightly discoloration. This issue is more noticeable with clear aligners and ceramic brackets, which can turn yellow or brown over time. Some ingredients in e-juice flavors may also weaken the dental adhesive used to secure braces, increasing the risk of brackets coming loose.
Irritation and Discomfort:
Vaping can increase irritation of your gums, cheeks, and lips, especially when your teeth alignment tools are already causing some discomfort. The hot vapor produced by vape devices can accidentally burn or inflame sensitive mouth tissues, making the braces-wearing experience even more unpleasant.
Oral Hygiene Challenges:
Maintaining good oral hygiene with braces can be challenging, as brackets and wires create additional spaces for plaque bacteria to accumulate. Vaping introduces further complications.
Research suggests that vaping can reduce saliva production, which is essential for neutralizing acids and washing away food debris. Additionally, the sweeteners in vape juices can promote bacterial growth, increasing the risk of cavities and gum disease.
While there are risks associated with vaping and braces, there are also a few situations where vaping might be a better choice than smoking traditional cigarettes. Vaping produces less staining and residue than smoking, making it a somewhat better option in this regard. Additionally, the variety of e-juice flavors and nicotine concentrations available with vaping can help individuals quit smoking while undergoing orthodontic treatment.
Vaping With Invisalign
While vaping is not recommended with braces, it is even riskier with Invisalign. The vapor can adhere to and coat your teeth, infiltrating the clear aligners and causing discoloration over time. Removing Invisalign trays while vaping may seem convenient, but it can hinder treatment effectiveness. Invisalign must be worn for 22 hours daily for proper teeth movement. Frequent tray removal for vaping can compromise treatment outcomes and extend the overall duration. Vaping with Invisalign is not advisable. Just like with smoking, we strongly recommend quitting
before starting treatment with braces or Invisalign.
Important Tips for Vaping with Braces
If you decide to vape while wearing braces, here are some essential tips to minimize risks:
Limit Vaping: Avoid excessive vaping, as it increases the likelihood of staining and other complications.
Choose Nicotine-Free E-Liquid: Opt for nicotine-free e-liquids to reduce oral health risks.
Moderation: Set firm limits on your vaping frequency and duration.
Select Gentle Flavors: Stick to menthol, minty, fruit, or candy flavors that are easier on your mouth tissues.
Oral Hygiene: Prioritize thorough brushing, flossing, and rinsing to combat plaque buildup.
Drink Water: Stay hydrated to prevent dry mouth and freshen your breath.
Regular Orthodontist Visits: Keep up with your orthodontic appointments for professional guidance.
Can dentists tell if you vape with braces?
Dentists can often detect signs of vaping while examining your braces. Vaping can leave behind staining and residue on the Teeth straighteners, which may be visible during a dental checkup.
What does vaping with braces look like?
Orthodontic vaping can look like tiny particles of staining or discoloration on the metal brackets, wires, and rubber bands. It may also involve signs of irritation or inflammation of the gums and mouth tissues due to exposure to the hot vapor.
Does nicotine get stuck in braces?
Nicotine can potentially get stuck in braces, just like other components of vape aerosol. The particles in the vapor may adhere to the tooth corrective devices, leading to staining or discoloration over time. This can be a concern for individuals using nicotine-containing vape products with braces.
While vaping with braces is possible, it comes with certain risks and challenges. Staining, irritation, and oral hygiene concerns are all factors to consider. It’s crucial to strike a balance between enjoying your vaping experience and safeguarding your oral health during orthodontic treatment. If you’re uncertain, consult with your orthodontist for personalized advice. Remember, moderation and careful oral hygiene are key to maintaining a healthy smile while vaping with dental braces.