Industry estimates show that Americans consume about 42.9 gallons of soda each year. That’s a lot of soda! We know soda isn’t the best thing for your health, because of the sugars in regular soda and empty calories. What about your teeth? Is soda OK for your teeth if you have braces or Invisalign?
At Appel Orthodontics, we caution our patients about drinking sodas while in braces or Invisalign. There are many reasons why, including possible staining of your teeth, braces, and Invisalign. But there are many other reasons to avoid sodas, both during and after treatment.
What You Need to Know About Sodas
In case you haven’t heard (and you probably have), sodas are not the healthiest drink to consume. People assume the biggest issue is the sugar, or in this case, the high fructose corn syrup, which most sodas use as a sweetener. Diet sodas tend to use artificial sweeteners, some of which have been shown to cause digestive problems over time. Sugars in sodas have been linked to an increased risk of type II diabetes, heart disease, and heart attacks.
Despite all this, it’s not just the sugar that’s the problem with sodas. When it comes to your teeth, the real issue is the acids. That’s right! Your favorite soda likely contains acids such as phosphoric, carbonic, and/or citrus acids.
Any way you go, sodas really aren’t healthy. It’s best to avoid them if you can, but definitely with braces or Invisalign.
Are Sodas Bad For Your Teeth?
With all the sugar, high fructose corn syrup, and acids, you can imagine what all that does to your teeth. The excess sugar and acids can accelerate tooth decay, causing more cavities and eventually tooth loss. It’s best to brush your teeth after consuming soda, just to minimize the damage they can cause. Better still, just avoid them and go for water.
Sodas With Braces
Soda’s aren’t great for patients with metal or gold braces. Foods with a high acid content, such as soda, can tarnish braces over time. Clear aligners are not safe from these acids either. Though they are stain-resistant, they can still stain if you frequently drink dark or colored sodas.
Sodas, coffee, dark teas, and red or purple fruit juices can stain teeth and should be avoided while wearing braces or Invisalign. This can lead to discolored teeth once the braces are removed.
Sodas and Your Invisalign
If sodas do all this to your teeth and braces, you can imagine what they can do to your Invisalign clear aligners. Your clear aligners are made from a stain-resistant, clear material. However, frequent use of dark liquids like sodas can discolor your clear aligners over time. This will make them more visible on your teeth.
One solution is to remove your clear aligners when you drink these liquids. However, you aren’t supposed to be without your clear aligners for more than two hours a day, which gives you time to eat, drink, brush, and floss. If you want to drink sodas, try limiting your soda consumption to mealtimes when your clear aligners are already out of your mouth for eating. Just make sure you brush your teeth and rinse your clear aligners before returning them to your mouth.
Braces and Invisalign in Philadelphia, PA
While technically you can, we recommend you don’t drink sodas with braces or Invisalign. If you do drink sodas, be sure to brush your teeth as soon as possible. Wash off your clear aligners immediately if you drink sodas with them in your mouth.
If you’re concerned about the effect sodas are having on your braces or Invisalign, Appel Orthodontics is here to help. Patients in the Philadelphia, PA, area can find out more information about our treatment options by scheduling an appointment with us. We offer a free consultation to new patients, and we’ll be happy to answer your questions about sodas, foods, and whatever else you’d like to know regarding your new braces or Invisalign!