#1 Original Reddit Post (shortened for brevity & relevance)
“...I'm not too liking the sound of wearing the same pair of retainers for 6 months because my current aligners get very easily stained and are looking quite yellow at the front teeth around 3 days after starting, being a smoker. Yes I know smoking isn't good, and not quitting isn't very realistic for me right now.”
Since you mentioned that you're a smoker, hope it's okay if I share some tips I usually give to our patients who are in the same boat?
- What I share with our patients who do smoke is to either remove their aligners when they smoke, brush their teeth, or "wipe" their teeth of any residue with a napkin (if they can't take time to brush) to prevent further staining of their aligners and their teeth after each smoke break + cavities from tobacco and tar.
- I also ask them to consider vaping which might help reduce aligner staining if you chose to vape with your aligners in, since it tends to only have nicotine vs smoking cigarettes with aligners in since those tend to have both tar and nicotine. Both stain, but in theory, one stains less.
- Lastly, I always recommend that these patients of ours be more diligent about cleaning their aligners with cleaning tablets which will help fight and reduce the staining from the tar & nicotine, but most likely won't be able to remove it completely because of how much tobacco and nicotine products stain.
#2. Original Reddit Posts (shortened for brevity & relevance)
"...Removing the aligners every time I smoke can be quite hassley but maybe when I get retainers, I won't have any attachments anymore so they will pop in and out easily. I don't mind the aligners staining so much because I only wear them for about 7-10 days before the next set, and currently my teeth are pretty stained in general as I haven't had the whitening and I don't care if my teeth aren't very white if they're still quite crooked, if that makes sense."
Makes complete sense! My only concern for our patients who smoke with aligners in, is that similar to whitening trays that press the whitening gel against teeth to whiten, the aligners would essentially act as a staining tray from any tar and nicotine that gets trapped in the aligners and cause more staining than what we started off with. But hopefully switching to vaping will mitigate this! + tobacco can cause cavities
Yes I use cleaning tablets in a little pot, doesn't seem to remove staining at all but perhaps there are others that would, or just other methods of removing stains. I suppose I'm best off waiting on what my particular orthodontist says for my case, I'll make a note to ask him these couple things.
I wish there was a cleaning solution that could remove all of the stains! We have our own FIZZ ME aligner cleaning tablets (here's a tiktok I made of it haha), and tried so many different solutions and have yet to find one that completely removes smoke and turmeric curry stains 😅
#3. Original Reddit Post (shortened for brevity & relevance)
“Will I have to brush my teeth after every time I smoke? It won’t really be possible at work.”
Do you smoke cigarettes or vape? One of the reason why dental professionals recommend that you brush after smoking with Invisalign is bc of the risk of tobacco getting trapped between the teeth which can cause tooth decay if it gets trapped in the aligners. Also something to consider is that if you smoke cigarettes with aligners in, it’ll stain your teeth even more than smoking without the trays in. Tar and nicotine can get trapped in the tray and basically becomes a staining tray!
There’s no need for me to lecture you on the cons of smoking… The purpose of these blog posts is to help you and other Invisalign / clear aligner therapy users have a better patient experience throughout your treatment, not to tell you how to live your life.
Acknowledging the reality that there are folks who do smoke and have clear aligners, I wanted to share some tips I have given patients in the past for preserving them / preventing stains:
It’s the ingredients, such as tobacco, tar, and nicotine, in cigarettes or vapes that cause staining. The only truly effective way to prevent staining of aligners from nicotine and tobacco products is to remove the aligners first. However, this can be mitigated by using e-cigarettes. Although nicotine is still present in e-cigarettes and can cause staining, many patients experience less staining with e-cigarettes.
Removal is Ideal
Unfortunately, there’s no getting around this one: in order to prevent yellowing, it is best to remove their aligners when you smoke. It’s a matter of sheer willpower. The next level up, I would recommend brushing your teeth after a smoke break. If this is too big of an ask, I’ve recommended patients "wipe" their teeth with a napkin for any residue to prevent further staining of their aligners and their teeth. However, brushing your teeth is a significantly better alternative to the wipe-down option, because of tobacco’s documented ___ to causing cavities. (The TLDR is this scientific paper is ______) reason why dental professionals recommend that you brush after smoking with Invisalign is bc of the risk of tobacco getting trapped btwn the teeth which can cause tooth decay if it gets trapped in the aligners. Also something to consider is that if you smoke ciggs with aligners in, it’ll stain your teeth even more than smoking without the trays in. Tar and nicotine can get trapped in the tray and basically becomes a staining tray!
Compared to tobacco or cannabis, I believe vaping to be less of a threat to aligner staining (especially if you are not removing your aligners) because it tends to only have nicotine. Cigarettes, on the other hand, tend to have both tar and nicotine. Both stain, but in theory, one stains your teeth less. Of course, whether to smoke or vape in general, let alone with your clear aligners in, is another decision I will leave up to you.
Cleaning Your Clear Aligners
Lastly, I always recommended that patients of ours that do smoke be more diligent about cleaning their aligners with cleaning tablets to mitigate staining from the tar and nicotine. Daily cleaning will prevent heavy accumulation of residual smoking stains on your aligner trays, but to be frank, it most likely won’t remove or prevent discoloration entirely.