There has been so much debate about whether vaping is good or bad, with everyone encouraged to take a strong stand on one side or the other. Healthy or unhealthy? Saving smokers or corrupting children? But for those of us who are already firmly in the 'Vaping is Awesome' camp, different debates come up. More mundane discussions about the relative safety and advised daily use of vape. Like whether it pairs well with certain foods. If you can take it through the airport. Or, what we're here to talk about today: Whether it's cool to vape at bedtime after you brush your teeth.
We have so many questions that aren't yet answered concretely by long-term studies because vaping is still such a new practice. Like:
While the answers are still being investigated, what we do have is the results of recent studies and thousands of current vapers sharing their experiences. So today, we're here to do the best we can to sate your tooth-related vape questions!
No more or less than, say, breathing in eucalyptus essential oils in the bath. According to a collection of recent studies, there is no direct connection between vape and gum disease, plaque, or cavities. People who vape regularly and have been vaping for years do not appear to have a higher instance of tooth decay or problems than people who have never vaped or smoked.
We do know from studies that people who switch from smoking cigarettes to vaping experience a significant improvement in oral health. However, this is probably due to the removal of all the bad stuff in cigarette smoke, not anything special that vaping is doing.
Nicotine, on the other hand, is an entirely different debate. Depending on the sources you're reading, nicotine either has no direct effect on your oral health or is the devil incarnate come to ravage your gums. Here's the difference: Whether they were studying nicotine directly or just cigarettes. There is no correlation to gum disease in people who chew nicotine gum versus normal gum. No correlation in gum disease to people who chew smokeless tobacco.
So anything you read that says nicotine vape is 'just as bad for your teeth' as nicotine cigarettes, don't buy the hype. The nicotine in your vape appears to be harmless, except perhaps contributing mildly to dehydration or slightly restricted blood vessels.
If you've done a little reading (or worrying) on the subject, you may be wondering if vape really does cause your gums to recede as some reports have indicated. And the answer is: Sort Of. But the problem is really dehydration.
The key thing to remember is that vape is hot, and it's not actually water. So while vape is great for clearing your sinuses, it may also leave you with a feeling like your nose, mouth, and throat are pretty dry. This is why most vapers tend to pick up on the hydration, drinking more water and fruit juice to make up for the slight loss of moisture that comes with vaping.
So if you do vape and fail to hydrate, your mouth becomes dry of saliva. And saliva is an important part of your mouth eco-system. It is constantly swishing around your teeth and gums, acting as a shower and disinfectant in one. Therefore, the less saliva you have, the less healthy your teeth and gums will be. So if you let yourself get dehydrated, on a regular basis by vaping frequently without water, your gums might recede. But this is also true if you simply don't drink enough water on the daily.
Another thing we wind up wondering, sitting in the dark practicing vape 'O's, is whether vape sticks to your teeth. After all, it's kind of an oil. And oil sticks to your teeth. Most people would agree that olive oil would count as something 'on your teeth' that might leave a plaque causing reside. So why not vape juice?
To answer your question simply: Yes. Vape does leave some residue inside your mouth, like anything else you eat or inhale. But it's also mostly broken down by your saliva pretty quickly. And anything left over doesn't have a noticeable effect on the health of your teeth whether you vape and brush or not. So far, related studies indicate that there's no connection between vape and plaque development. Of course, there also haven't been any definitive studies on lingering vape juice on teeth yet, so we'll keep you posted.
And finally, the question of the hour: Do you have to brush your teeth again after vaping at night? We all know the bedtime tooth brushing rule that anything left on your teeth when you sleep becomes plaque and problems. Which is why you brush and use mouthwash right before bed. And have to brush again if you, say, sneak a post-brushing bedtime snack. But what about vape?
As we just discussed, vape doesn't actually leave any known harmful particles on your teeth that will develop into plaque. So it should be safe to vape right there in bed before turning off the light. Without running back to brush your teeth again. No matter how much like chocolate cake your vape might taste like, there are none of the harmful plaque-causing sugars actually in the mix.
However, vape does dry your mouth out, and you need plenty of salivae when you sleep to keep your gums healthy. So make sure to take a few sips of your bedtime glass of water if you vape after brushing.
Of course, we do acknowledge that there's not a lot of hard science available yet. So you might still be worried about the connection between vape and your teeth. Fortunately, you can do what anyone else does in the circumstances: Just swish a little mouthwash. Mouthwash kills most mouth germs and can clear out residual vape quite tidily. You can even keep a little bottle by your bed and spit into your trash can if you like to tuck yourself in to relax at night.
So what exactly is the deal with vaping and brushing your teeth? While this is something a lot of us vapers find ourselves wondering at night or in the morning, it's not actually that big a deal at all. The best advice we can give you is to stay hydrated, as current studies point to dehydration as the only known oral health risk connected to vaping. So you are totally free to enjoy huge delicious puffs of artisan VG e-liquid to send you off to dreamland. Without brushing your teeth again.