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 braces and tooth 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.
Acid is the Culprit
Soft drinks contain acids that pull calcium out of the enamel and dissolve the enamel, a process called “decalcification”. Decalcification leads to permanent, white marks/spots on your teeth and can cause cavities. Once enamel dissolves it does not come back. The loss is permanent. The risk of permanent decalcifications of tooth enamel doubles if you drink soft drinks and you don’t remove the plaque that collects around braces, between teeth and under the gums by regularly brushing and flossing.
If you wear tooth aligners, liquids seep into them when you take a drink, and the liquid is held against the teeth until the aligner is removed. If the liquid contains acid, the prolonged exposure accelerates damage to the teeth.
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
If You Must Drink a Soft Drink
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
Talk them over with Dr. Cohen and/or your dentist, the professionals who are always your best source of information and advice about your oral hygiene, health and orthodontic treatment.