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The Effect of Vaping on Force Degradation of Orthodontic Elastomeric Chains

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[Technical Report, Master's Thesis]

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Vaping, the use of electronic cigarettes or e-cigs, is a recent development that may have far reaching consequences for public health. E-cigs vaporize a liquid which often contain nicotine, various flavorings, additives, and trace metals and are at risk of exploding.1-3 According to the Center for Disease Control CDC 2017 youth risk behavior survey, 13.2 percent of the youth population in the United States vaped at least once in the last thirty days.4 Although a consensus has not been reached on the risks and benefits of vaping, research has been undertaken to better understand the health effects of e-cigs.5 Within the dental field, the periodontal effect of vaping has been studied most thoroughly. Wadia et al found increases in gingival inflammation after switching from smoking to vaping.6 Additionally, Willershausen et al found that menthol additives inhibit gingival fibroblasts.7 Other studies found effects on tumor necrosis factor TNF and cytotoxicity. 8,9 More generally, nicotine is known to affect bone remodeling and tooth movement. 10,11Orthodontic implications of vaping are less well known. An area of orthodontics that was well studied prior to the modern vaping trend is force degradation of elastomerics in response to the oral environment. Ash and Nikolai found that force degraded more in the oral environment than in air or water.12 Kardach et al found that force reduced by50 percent with plastic chains, while memory chains only lost 20 percent of their initial force after one week.13 Ramanzanzadeh et al found that at higher force levels of 300 gram elastics showed significant force decay after exposure to sodium fluoride rinses.14 Additional effects on color of elastics and force differences between various brands of elastics are also well documented.15-19 However, it is not presently known if vaping causes force degradation in a similar manner to saliva or sodium fluoride. It is clear that a large portion of potential adolescent patients may.

Subject Categories:

  • Mechanics
  • Elastomers and Rubber
  • Medical Facilities, Equipment and Supplies

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[A, Approved For Public Release]