School is out, and students all across St. Louis County and St. Louis City are enjoying a nice, hot summer vacation. Without the daily routine of school and homework, it may be easy to slip into bad habits. Cold, sugary treats like soda and popsicles are very popular in the summertime. But they are bad for your teeth—especially if you wear braces! To help you make better choices this summer, we’ve put together some info on why you should avoid drinking soda with braces, as well as some ideas for healthier treats.
Why Is It Bad to Drink Soda with Braces?
Soda is bad for your teeth. Period. All soft drinks—including regular and diet soda, sports drinks, fruit drinks, and energy drinks—contain acids that can cause decalcification, tooth softening, permanent loss of tooth enamel, and cavities. They also contain large amounts of sugar—a common culprit for decalcification, cavities, gum disease, and tooth staining. The acid and sugar combined present a double threat to the health of your teeth. Because oral health and hygiene are so important during orthodontic treatment, it is especially important to avoid drinking soda with braces and retainers. To ensure that you finish your treatment with strong, healthy teeth and a beautiful (stain-free) smile, drink milk and water and choose healthier treat alternatives.
Healthier Treats for Orthodontic Patients
If you just can’t resist having something sweet, ice cream and milkshakes are okay for orthodontic patients. However—if you are craving a sweet, cold drink to cool you down, real-fruit smoothies are a much better option. Blend up your favorite combination of frozen fruit, yogurt, milk or juice, and honey for a delicious summer treat that will keep your teeth strong and healthy!
If you absolutely must have a soft drink, follow these guidelines provided by the AAO:
- Drink through a straw.
- Have soft drinks with a meal.
- Brush right away after drinking, or at least rinse with water.
- Drink quickly, rather than sipping over a long period of time (each sip renews the acid attack on your teeth).
Remember: Both regular and diet sodas are bad for your teeth and should really be avoided during orthodontic treatment. Also, be sure to brush properly, visit the dentist for regular teeth cleanings, and use an electric toothbrush with an orthodontic brush head for the best results.
Have questions about why you shouldn’t drink soft drinks with braces? Think you or your child may benefit from orthodontic treatment? Contact us! Call 636.825.1000 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.