When choosing an appropriate orthodontic treatment for you, you might wonder if you can still drink your favourite pop while wearing braces or clear aligners. Dr. Aly Kanani is here to explain the rules.
Can Pop Damage Your Teeth?
Not only can drinking a large amount of pop be bad for your health because of the amount of sugar you’re ingesting, but drinking pop can also significantly damage your teeth.
First, most pop contains very high amounts of sugar. What’s worse is that most people can drink that soda down in just a few gulps! Sugar is terrible for your teeth, as sugar mixes with bacteria in the mouth to create plaque. That plaque is what decays your teeth, and the more sugar you ingest, the more plaque your mouth makes.
However, sugar isn’t the only thing you have to worry about when drinking soda. Many people love the fizzy bubbles that gives pop that tasty bite. However, that fizziness is caused by a chemical reaction taking place between water and carbonic acid. When you pop open a can or bottle of pop, this reaction happens, creating bubbles. That acid in carbonation sticks to your teeth and erodes your tooth enamel. Any drink with acid in it is a drink you want to avoid, as it will strip your teeth of minerals, changing how strong they are and how they look.
Will Pop Harm My Braces?
Drinks with carbonation can stain the metal brackets of your braces. They can also cause staining and erosion on your teeth when your braces come off. If you choose metal or ceramic braces, you will have the braces bonded to your teeth. Those parts of the teeth covered with the bonding material will not come in contact with carbonation or acids from juices and fruit. However, all the surrounding tooth surfaces will. That means if you’re drinking soda or carbonation during braces, you can erode the tooth enamel that is showing.
Weaker, eroded teeth are also susceptible to dental emergencies, and nobody wants a broken or cracked tooth with braces. Fixing dental emergencies like these is much more difficult with metal appliances in your mouth. To recap, drinking soda with braces won’t only slowly destroy your tooth enamel, but it will also affect the metal of your braces.
Other Drinks to Avoid with Braces
If you are getting metal or ceramic braces you should avoid the following drinks:
Juices/Citrus Drinks: These contain citric and other types of acids to give them flavour. However, citric acid erodes your tooth enamel and weakens your teeth leading to decay, staining and oral diseases.
Sports Drinks: Many have several day’s worth of your recommended sugar in just one bottle. Choose a sugar-free alternative that has electrolytes but that is free of citric acid. Ingesting sugary drinks can be just as damaging as drinking soda.
Coffee and Tea: Both of these drinks contain high amounts of dyes that will change the colour of your teeth. If you want white teeth or want to reduce the number of uneven stains around your braces, skip these beverages. Many people tend to add lots of sugar to them as well, which leads to decay.
Sparkling Water and Energy Drinks: If it has fizzy bubbles, it will erode your teeth.
Should You Avoid Pop with Invisalign?
Invisalign clear aligners are a removable orthodontic option that comes with fewer dietary restrictions. While this option has become popular because technically you can eat and drink anything you want once you remove your aligners.
Removable aligners make it so there is no uneven wear and staining from drinking pop during treatment, but due to the erosive effect of pop we still would recommend you and any other patient of ours stays away from pop altogether. That being said, before putting your aligners back in your mouth, you must always brush your teeth, so at least you will be able to remove any plaque buildup from the sugary drink right away which may help slow the effects.