Soft Drinks + Orthodontic Treatment = A Recipe for Disaster
Soft drinks, including regular and diet soda pop, fruit drinks, sports drinks and energy drinks, weaken tooth enamel. They are even harder on teeth with orthodontic “appliances,” such as braces or aligners. It is recommended that you avoid soft drinks during your orthodontic treatment so that your teeth stay healthy and strong, and you finish your treatment with a good bite and a healthy, beautiful smile.
Soft drinks contain acids. Acid pulls calcium out of the enamel, making the tooth soft to the touch. Acid dissolves tooth enamel, a process called “decalcification,” and can lead to cavities. Once enamel dissolves, it does not come back. The loss is permanent.
- Avoid soft drinks, especially during orthodontic treatment
- Drink water and milk
- Brush and floss as recommended
- Fluoride strengthens teeth – use fluoride toothpaste and a fluoride rinse
- See your dentist at least every six months for a professional cleaning and check-up, or more often if recommended
- Store the tooth fragment in water.
- Drink soft drinks through a straw
- Have soft drinks with a meal
- Brush right away after drinking a soft drink; if you can’t brush right away, at least rinse with water
- Drink the soft drink quickly; avoid sipping over a long period of time – each sip renews the acid attack on teeth
- Do not let the tooth dry out.
Talk them over with your orthodontist and/or orthodontic staff, the professionals who are always your best source of information and advice about your orthodontic treatment.
American Association of Orthodontists. (2016) Soft Drinks + Orthodontic Treatment = A Recipe for Disaster. Retrieved from from this electronic source.