Soda can be a refreshing treat, especially as we make our way into the steamy summer months. The sweetness and satisfaction it provides to many can be hard to beat; however, if you are undergoing orthodontic treatment, you should be careful. Soda can cause some major damage to your teeth and if you have braces or Invisalign, damage to your brackets, wires and aligners as well. If you’re wondering whether you should avoid it completely or enjoy it in moderation, here’s what the experts say.
How Soda Affects Your Teeth
Let’s first start with how soda affects your teeth with or without braces or Invisalign. One of the main downfalls with soda is the amount of sugar found in it and the high levels of acidity present. Sugar, as you may be well aware, can cause many negative effects on the body, our teeth included.
Sugar causes the build-up of bacteria on the teeth, which forms plaque, the main culprit of tooth decay and gum disease. Since having braces means there are more places for pesky bacteria to hide and form in the mouth, it’s best to limit the consumption of sugar…soda included.
Soda also has a high level of acidity, which causes a host of problems. For the teeth, this results in premature wear of the enamel, which weakens the teeth, causing cavities to form.
Drinking Soda with Braces or Invisalign
It’s best to limit soda consumption while undergoing orthodontic treatment (and all the time) to avoid problems. However, if you’re in the mood for a soda to beat the heat or as an afternoon pick-me-up, it’s advised to drink from a straw to keep the soda from contacting the majority of your teeth.
If you have Invisalign, be sure to remove your aligners before enjoying, as soda can cause damage to your aligners. Bacteria can also build up on aligners, so taking them out of the picture when you’re drinking soda is highly advised. Also, be sure to at least rinse your mouth after drinking soda, or brush and floss if possible, to avoid bacteria build-up afterwards.
Types of Soda to Enjoy
If you’re craving a sweet soda, follow these best practices to limit the risk of damaging your teeth:
- Limiting the amount and frequency
- Sticking to clear varieties
- Opting for sugar-free
Natural sweeteners found in some sodas, like stevia, are a good alternative to regular sugar. Not only is it easier on the body as a whole, it comes with a host of health benefits.
So, can you enjoy soda with braces or Invisalign? The answer is yes, but in moderation. If you’re careful and take certain precautions, you shouldn’t cause much damage to your smile. However, it’s highly recommended to limit soda consumption as much as possible. Sugar poses a big threat to our overall well-being, which means avoiding it is the ticket to a healthy, beautiful smile.