There’s never a time when it isn’t important to take good care of your teeth, but it’s especially important to stay on top of oral hygiene during orthodontic treatment. One popular beverage that is notoriously problematic for teeth is soda. While many people opt for diet sodas as an alternative, there are still some concerns to consider.
Why Soda Is Bad for Teeth
There are plenty of reasons why soda isn’t good for your teeth. The primary reason many people think about is the high sugar content of most sodas. There definitely is some solid reasoning behind this since sugar does lead to bacteria growth, plaque build-up, and tooth decay. However, what makes sodas especially bad for teeth is their high acidity. Most sodas contain high concentrations of citric acid and phosphoric acid, which are hard on enamel. By weakening the enamel, you make your teeth more vulnerable to tooth decay.
How Soda Affects Braces
The other problem that comes with drinking soda, even if it is diet, is the dark coloring used in many varieties of soda. Even if the soda is sugar-free, the coloring can stain your teeth. If you have traditional metal braces, you could end up with some white spots underneath the places where your brackets were bonded to your teeth once your braces are removed.
If you have ceramic braces, not only will you have to consider the possibility of staining your teeth, but you’ll want to avoid staining your braces as well. Ceramic braces are designed to be a subtle option for braces, leading to low visibility and a cleaner looking smile. If you are drinking dark colored diet sodas, you could end up with staining that diminishes the benefits of choosing ceramic braces.
The same applies to wearing Invisalign aligners. It can be easy to forget to remove your aligners at times when you want to indulge in a refreshing soda. However, it’s important to only consume cold water with your aligners still in your mouth. If you’re consuming any other food or drink, you will need to remove your aligners to avoid staining or damage.
Tips for Avoiding Staining and Tooth Decay
Many types of juice also have high concentrations of acid, particularly orange juice, so you should avoid these as well. While drinks like black coffee, black tea, and root beer are lower in acid content, they also have a high potential to stain your teeth, ceramic braces, or Invisalign aligners.
No matter what you eat or drink during your orthodontic treatment, the best way to avoid tooth decay and staining is to brush your teeth regularly with toothpaste and a soft-bristled toothbrush. Ideally, this should happen after every meal and you should certainly brush your teeth after consuming soda, even if it’s diet.
To learn more about taking care of your teeth during your orthodontic treatment and to find the right treatment solution for you, contact Charleston Orthodontic Specialists today and schedule your free consultation.