Drinking Soda with Braces
We all like to indulge in a little unhealthy treat on occasion, but with braces, you should be more aware of the things you’re consuming . Soda is already a pretty unhealthy beverage and really shouldn’t be consumed regularly, no matter what. If you have braces, there are even more risks in consuming it. Drinking soda with braces can cause harm in ways many of us wouldn’t even consider.
One crucial maintenance rule you should follow while you have braces is to avoid drinking soda . The primary reason for this is due to its level of acidity. Acidic beverages can eat away at your enamel, which will result in tooth sensitivity and possibly other dental problems. Also, the acidity of soda has the potential to weaken the bond your braces have with your teeth. This could result in an unexpected trip to your orthodontist to repair anything that might break or come unattached. The sugar in soda could also cause cavities and gum problems if you don’t thoroughly clean after consuming soda. Braces can make cleaning teeth a bit more difficult, so consuming sugary beverages is just ill-advised in general.
Use a Straw: Take Precautions When You Can
If you are set on continuing to drink soda, or you just want to consume one on occasion, it is highly recommended that you use a straw. A straw will aid in keeping the sugary and acidic drink from completely coating your teeth every time you take a sip. This method will also prevent darker beverages from staining your teeth as much as they might if you drink them without a straw. The ceramic brackets used on clear braces, and your Invisalign trays, can easily be stained, and that is something a straw will help to avoid.
Choose Wisely: Risks of Drinking Soda With Braces
Another con of sodas is the darker kinds are likely to stain your teeth. Whitening teeth is difficult with braces so it’s best to avoid anything that’s going to cause staining. If you are going to consume soda, choose a light-colored variety over a dark one to prevent staining of your teeth.
In addition to avoiding drinking soda, you should also avoid coffee, tea, and sports drinks as much as possible. Coffee and tea can stain your teeth, and sports drinks contain high levels of sugars. Unhealthy bacteria in the mouth is the number one cause of tooth decay and gum disease, and according to the CDC 1 in 4 Americans unknowingly suffer as a direct result of this treatable issue.
Lacking a proper alkaline balance (pH balance) can be detrimental to your oral health. Bad bacteria thrive in an imbalanced mouth; your pH should ideally be at least 5.6 on the scale in order to keep your teeth and gums healthy. Water’s pH is 7, and when you drink anything other than that your pH level drops. Minerals that protect your teeth will disappear until the pH level is restored. The lower on the pH scale a beverage is, the more acid it contains. Most popular sodas clock in around 2.5, causing your mouth to become vulnerable to bad bacteria and lose important minerals.
Soda isn’t the only dangerous drink on the market; juices and even flavored waters can contain damaging acids. Think twice before picking up your favorite fruity friend, just because they are labeled water does not mean their pH balance is even close to the healthy 7. The National Library of Medicine published a report citing the erosive effects of flavored waters. The evidence stated that many of the beverages have pH levels between 2.6-3.2 and were just as harmful as regularly drinking orange juice. Do your research before indulging in your go-to drinks, your teeth (and orthodontist) will thank you for it.
Invisalign and Oral Health: Stick to a Routine
Wearing clear aligners comes with a lot more freedom than traditional metal braces, but oral hygiene is just as important. Residual acid from soda and other beverages can still stick to your teeth and cause erosion. It’s imperative to not only clean your teeth thoroughly, but make sure you’re taking care of your aligners before and after wearing them. If you don’t clean your teeth before putting your aligners back on, you’re essentially sealing in bad bacteria and giving it a chance to run rampant.
If you are wearing your aligners, it is recommended that you don’t drink high-acidity drinks. The plastic trays can become stained or damaged from low pH drinks and you’ll be responsible for replacing them if they are ruined. Think of your Invisalign clear aligners as a second set of teeth (weird, but true). You need to treat your trays the same way you would your actual teeth. Proper care and maintenance will ensure your clear aligners will work the way they’re supposed to without being compromised by acidic beverages. The clear, malleable plastic is sensitive to discoloration and deformity, so pay close attention to what you’re consuming while wearing them.
Clean Well: Oral Hygiene is Your Best Friend
If you drink any of the aforementioned drinks, you should be sure to clean your teeth thoroughly afterwards. Rinse your mouth with water and try to brush your teeth as soon as possible.
It sounds like a lot of work, but having braces is definitely worth the extra effort. Just think, your teeth are going to be straight and beautiful when you are finally done with everything! You won’t be able to stop smiling, and maintaining great oral hygiene will ensure that your results will be as magnificent as you expect. Avoiding things like soda and other sugary beverages will go a long way in keeping your teeth, smile, and gums nice and healthy!
Providing tips on how to keep your teeth healthy is just one more way our team at Milnor Orthodontics is committed to making sure your smile comes out perfect. Soda isn’t really worth the hassle, anyways.
At Milnor Orthodontics, our experts are here to help you achieve a priceless smile. Call our office at (970) 484-3214 or visit milnororthodontics.com to learn more. We're located at 1103 S. Shields St. in Fort Collins, Colorado.