Smoking cigarettes, cigars and chewing tobacco can have a detrimental effect on your teeth. Most people know that tobacco use can cause cancers of the mouth and throat and  periodontal disease, but you may not know that its use can significantly hinder your orthodontic treatment. You shouldn't use tobacco while you have braces. Here's why:

Reduced healing 

Some individuals undergoing orthodontic treatment may need jaw surgery, tooth extraction and have dental implants prior to having any appliances placed on their teeth. These procedures can be invasive, and you must heal fully before going on to the next step in your treatment. Nicotine reduces nutritional blood flow to the skin and gums, resulting in injured tissues not being able to heal. In addition, carbon monoxide from cigarette smoke diminishes oxygen transport throughout the body — an important component of wound repair.

Periodontal disease

Someone with mild gum disease who also has orthodontic braces can be in a precarious position. As we noted in a previous blog post, the pressure placed on teeth during orthodontic treatment, may adversely affect teeth weakened due to periodontitis. Tobacco use can worsen this disease by causing more damage to the gums. Severe periodontal disease can also cause teeth to relapse back into their former positions, necessitating the need for more orthodontic treatment.

In addition to the above, smokeless tobacco can become packed around braces and stain your teeth. If you didn't have a reason to quit smoking before, hopefully the idea of having straight and healthy teeth will help you change your mind. For more information about braces, contact a New York City Orthodontist today!

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