So you’re diving into your new life with braces, wondering which habits you’ll be able to keep and which ones you’ll have to put on the backburner until your treatment is complete.
If you’re a soda fanatic, you’re likely wondering, “Can I drink soda with braces?” So let’s dive right in, how exactly do soda and braces mix? Should you add soda to the “forbidden beverages” list – or is it okay to drink in moderation?
Here’s everything you need to know about soda and braces:
What happens if you drink soda with braces?
If you drink a can of your favorite soda while you have braces on – nothing will happen. Your braces will remain intact and your teeth will remain in their same position.
Soda damages your teeth (and braces) over time – not in one sitting. The danger is in neglecting your oral hygiene and drinking soda consistently, without taking any precautions.
To understand why soda is not a braces-approved beverage, let’s discuss what happens when you drink soda.
Most sodas have high sugar content (unless they’re sugar-free of course) and are very acidic in nature.
The pH of carbonated soft drinks generally ranges between 2.5 to 3.5, which is exceptionally acidic.
So what exactly does acidic on the pH scale mean? Let’s take a look at the pH scale.
From pH 0 to 6, a food or beverage is considered acidic. The closer to 0, the more acidic. Around 6 to 8 pH, things are pretty neutral. From 8 to 14 pH on the scale, the food or drink at hand is considered alkaline.
The pH level of the mouth is directly affected by the foods and drinks we eat, and our oral pH level has a direct effect on our teeth and gum health.
The normal pH range for saliva is 6.2 to 7.6, so when the pH levels in your mouth dip below 5.5, this increased acidity starts to break down the protective enamel on your teeth and places you at a higher risk of developing tooth sensitivity and cavities (tooth decay).
So, because the pH level of sodas is around 2.5 and the ideal mouth pH is around 6, drinking sodas everyday can in fact damage your teeth and gums.
What about braces?
Won’t my ceramic braces stain or turn yellow? That isn’t the case with the high-quality, stain-resistant ceramic brackets we use at Just for Grins Orthodontics! While your invisible braces won’t turn yellow, your elastics can stain if not properly cleaned or replaced according to your treatment plan.
Drinking sodas regularly while wearing braces can not only deteriorate your teeth enamel, but discolor your teeth! The surfaces of your teeth that aren’t covered by brackets are also prone to discoloration. Drinking sodas during treatment can leave you with white spots once your braces are removed.
So, can you drink soda with braces?
So, what’s the verdict? Is soda completely off the table until your treatment is over?
If you absolutely must drink soda during your braces treatment, there are a few precautions you should take to minimize damage.
- Take great care of your teeth and gums! You can effectively cleanse your teeth and gums and wash away the acid by brushing and/or flossing after you drink a soft drink. Maintaining optimal oral health also supports your mouth in warding off harmful bacteria and protecting itself from damage.
- Don’t sip on your soda for too long. Sipping on an acidic drink over a longer period of time increases your chances of developing cavities and weakening your teeth and gums. You can’t clean your teeth while you’re still drinking your beverage, so try not to sip on your drink for too long. Try to drink it relatively quickly to prevent the acids from breaking down your enamel.
- Drink sodas (and other acidic beverages) in moderation. Everything is okay in moderation. Should you drink a soda everyday? Probably not. But if you’re a die-hard soda drinker, take some other precautions to prevent your favorite beverage from damaging your teeth and gums.
We want you to experience the best possible results from treatment. By committing to your regular oral hygiene routine, you can minimize and prevent the damage caused by highly acidic drinks and foods.
Commit to a balanced diet. Clean your teeth regularly, not just at the beginning and end of the day. Limit your alcohol intake and coffee intake (unfortunately). Or at the very least, brush your teeth and rinse your mouth out after.
Still have questions about soda and braces?
Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us with any questions! We’re here to guide you through your treatment process, from your very first visit, to your last appointment.