Can you drink soda with braces safely and not damage the brace mechanisms or your teeth? Learn the effects that soda has on enamel and braces and some good practices you can implement.
Most people consume soda every day.
In general, people love carbonated drinks such as cola, lemonade, and a host of other flavors.
However, you may not realize the danger that soda causes to your braces and your teeth.
Braces and carbonated drinks do not really go well together.
Therefore people with braces are particularly advised against drinking soda.
Don’t worry – it is not forever!
Only until your braces are off.
Effects Of Soda On Teeth
There are several negative reasons why drinking soda is not good for the health of your teeth or your braces.
Here are a few examples of what happens when you drink soda with braces and the effects on your teeth.
Drinking soda causes erosion of the tooth enamel. This is definitely not what you want to happen to healthy teeth.
Soda contains citric acid, which dissolves the tooth enamel. Citric acid has a pH of 3 making it highly acidic.
This is the main reason drinking a lot of soda increases the risk of tooth decay. Tooth erosion starts when the corrosive acids in soft drinks encounter tooth enamel.
Enamel is the all-important external protective layer on your teeth. Soda reduces the surface hardness of the enamel breaking down the tooth protection and creating cavities.
If you are suffering from gum recession, the effects of the acid are multiplied. Dentin in the root is much softer than enamel and therefore more prone to erosion.
Drinking soda with braces causes white lesions. These are white spots that form on your teeth.
The white lesions are areas where your enamel is becoming demineralized.
For those wearing braces, the areas of your tooth that are covered by the orthodontic bracket are generally protected from white lesions. But the exposed areas are not.
This means that once the braces are removed there might be an unsightly bracketed pattern between the demineralized and previously protected areas of the enamel.
Dentin erosion can lead to extreme teeth sensitivity.
Drinking soda can also cause decalcification. Decalcification refers to the reduction of calcium and phosphate in your teeth.
This loss often leads to higher sensitivity and decay over time.
What Does Soda Do To Braces?
Soda is bad for oral hygiene in general, and this is especially true for people with braces.
This is why you are encouraged to avoid consuming soda at all if you wear any kind of teeth brace.
Here are a few reasons why soda is bad for braces:
Soda causes stains on the metal brackets of your teeth.
Soda can also cause odd-looking stains as well as erosion on teeth. If your braces are bonded to your teeth, the bond protects the teeth from the carbonation of acids from soda, juices, and fruit.
However, any contact of soda with the exposed surface of the tooth causes erosion of the enamel.
When your braces come off the protected bonded areas may look different from the rest of the teeth.
You might be left with small squares from the brackets that do not match the rest of your teeth. You can also experience staining and have craters in parts of your teeth where the enamel has worn away.
Weakening Of Braces
- Soda also affects the braces by weakening any bands you may have attached
- Clear brackets or aligners may discolor and yellow
- The acidic levels of soda may break down or weaken the brace structure
Drinking soda with braces weakens the bond between braces and your tooth. This weakness is attributed to the acidity of soda.As a result, you may require the services of an orthodontist. They will repair anything that might have broken or come unattached.
As you can see, there are several repercussions of drinking soda whilst wearing braces.
Soda is bad for the teeth in general and, unfortunately, worse for individuals with braces.
How To Limit The Side Effects Of Drinking Soda
The effects of weakening the bonds of your braces, staining your teeth surface, weakening teeth, and discoloring the braces are serious.
However, if you decide to drink soda while wearing braces, below are tips on how to drink soda with braces and do so without affecting them too much.
Use a Straw
If you are set on continuing to drink soda, it is highly recommended that you use a straw.
A straw will help in keeping the sugary and acidic drink from completely coating your teeth.
This method of drinking also prevents darker beverages, like cola from staining your teeth as much.
Choose Your Soda Carefully
Can you drink soda with braces if you choose the right ones?
If you must drink soda it is advisable to drink light-colored sodas. Dark sodas are more likely to stain your teeth.
Bear in mind that whitening your teeth with braces is very difficult, so be aware of the consequences.
Avoid Soft Drinks Before Bedtime
Sugar and acid will have all night to attack your teeth after drinking soda.
Brushing and rinsing after partaking of soda before heading to bed is imperative.
Get Regular Dental Cleanings
Regular dental visits for checkups will identify problems before they get out of control.
Hence if you are wearing braces, go for dental checkups to help you to achieve a bright smile as well as straight teeth.
Drinks To Avoid While Wearing Braces
Soda is not the only drink you should avoid drinking to prevent damage. Drinks with sugar include sports drinks, fruit juices, coffee, and tea.
Coffee & Tea
Coffee and tea are two drinks that have high color pigments. They can stain not only the brackets of your braces but are the most common reason for teeth staining too.
These stains can demineralize teeth, which ultimately can lead to decay of the teeth. The best thing to avoid demineralization is to reduce the intake of coffee and tea.
Sports Drinks and Fruit Juices
Sports drinks contain high levels of sugar. Drinking too much on a regular basis can ultimately weaken the structure of the tooth.
The fruit juices used in sports drinks are naturally high in sucrose and acid. This is the most common sugar that causes decay.
Lemon-flavored sports drinks are a no-no and should be eliminated from your diet. Lemon combined with sugar has the ability to dissolve the surface enamel if in contact with teeth for long periods.
What Should I Drink With Braces?
The best drinks to choose with braces are plain, ordinary water, and milk. They are not acidic, and they have the added benefit of increasing oral health.
Rinsing with water washes away bacteria and keeps up saliva production in the mouth.
Milk has no negative effects. It is rich in calcium and strengthens your teeth naturally.
How to Maintain Braces Health
Taking good care of your braces will help prevent any damage to the braces themselves and the teeth underneath. Cleanliness will make the braces more comfortable to wear too.
Here are six ways in which one can maintain braces.
- cleaning braces
- brushing teeth
- dentist visits
- avoid damaging drinks
Clean your braces by holding your brush at a 45-degree angle to clean around the wires and pins. A good practice is to brush each wire from the top to the bottom.
Take your time and make sure that all existing debris and plaque are removed from both the upper and lower teeth.
Brush your teeth carefully using the below directions.
Apply gentle pressure whilst using a circular motion while brushing at a 45-degree angle to the gum line on the outer and inner surfaces.
Do this for about 10 seconds.
Adjust the angle of the brush to better reach the back of the front teeth.
The constant motion of an electric toothbrush will be a good option to get between the wires of the braces.
Floss once a day. Ask your dentist to show you the best method to floss with braces.
You need to use floss designed for braces and orthodontic work. An example of specialized flossing equipment is a water flosser.
Rinse and check your teeth.
Rinse either with water or a mouth rinse thoroughly examining your teeth and braces in the mirror to ensure everything is clean.
Visit your dentist and orthodontist regularly to check you are doing a good job maintaining your braces.
This also helps to identify minor problems before they become bigger and complicated.
Avoid Damaging Drinks
Avoid drinking sodas, fruit juice, tea, and coffee. Sugary drinks can affect your oral health and also stain your braces and teeth.
Can You Drink Soda With Braces On?
Is soda bad for braces?
It is concluded that soda, soft drinks, sports drinks, tea, and coffee are not good for our dental health.
You are strongly advised against drinking any fizzy drinks or pop whilst wearing braces.
The effects are bad for both those who wear braces and those who don’t.
The effects for those who wear braces and drink soda include stains on teeth, white lesions, and damaged braces.
It is a fact that weaker, eroded teeth are also more susceptible to dental emergencies.
All drinks containing sugar cause erosion on our teeth, unfortunately. This erosion leads to tooth decay and possibly cavities.
So the question – can you drink soda with braces? – is answered with a “no – not really”.
In fact, the best beverage for your teeth is water and milk.