When you start orthodontic treatment, you’ll need to get used to some food restrictions and new cleaning routines. While these may seem demanding or inconvenient, they will be well worth it since you’ll avoid tooth decay and keep your treatment on track. One common question patients have when they have braces or Invisalign is whether diet soda is better for their teeth than regular soda.
Sugar and Braces
When you start orthodontic treatment with braces, you’ll need to give up several types of food to protect your braces and avoid tooth decay. While sugary foods won’t necessarily damage your braces, they are always bad for your teeth. When you have braces, it is more difficult to thoroughly clean your teeth all the way since the brackets and wires trap food and create barriers to certain parts of your teeth. Even if you have Invisalign, sugar can lead to bacteria buildup if you aren’t careful about cleaning your teeth and aligners regularly.
Because of this, it’s a good idea to avoid drinking soda during orthodontic treatment to protect your teeth since they contain high amounts of sugar. However, this isn’t the only reason soda is bad for your teeth.
Is Diet Soda Better for Teeth than Regular Soda?
While the sugar content in sodas is a major reason they’re so bad for your teeth, the other reason they cause damage to teeth is their high acidity. Sodas contain citric acid to provide the tangy sensation when you take a sip. While it creates a pleasant experience, the high acid content is hard on your teeth. Diet sodas contain just as much citric acid as regular sodas, meaning they are likely to erode the enamel of your teeth if consumed frequently.
The acidity of diet sodas also poses a threat to your clear aligners if you have Invisalign. You should always take out your Invisalign trays if you are consuming anything other than cold water. The citric acid in soda can damage your aligners.
Many diet sodas also contain artificial coloring the same way regular sodas do and can stain your teeth. While this is always something you’ll want to avoid, staining your teeth with braces can result in white spots on your teeth where the brackets used to be when you get your braces removed. This coloring can also stain your clear aligners if you forget to take them out when you drink a soda, which defeats the purpose of having clear aligners.
While drinking soda isn’t recommended in general for oral health, it doesn’t mean you have to go without soda during orthodontic treatment. If you do drink soda, keep it to occasional consumption to avoid staining or corroding your teeth and be sure to brush afterward. Drinking through a straw can also help minimize the soda’s contact with your teeth. When it comes to diet soda, the fact it has no sugar doesn’t mean you can drink it more often without experiencing some of the same risks as regular soda, so you should also consume diet soda infrequently as well.
To learn more about caring for your braces, contact Milnor Orthodontics today and schedule a free consultation.