It’s a question on many orthodontic patients’ minds…what can I eat and drink with braces, and is soda an option for me? There are soda lovers everywhere who prefer the taste of a sugary beverage on a hot summer day; however, you may want to reconsider that hydration option. Now more than ever, we are learning about the negative effects soda has on our bodies, and it doesn’t stop there. So, if you’re asking, “Can I drink soda while I have braces?” you may want to think about what soda does to your braces and to your body.
How Soda Impacts Our Braces and Our Health
Soda isn’t the first choice of beverage for health professionals, and for good reason. It’s not nutritionally good for you. Most sodas are loaded with sugars and other harmful chemicals, which can have negative effects on your system. When you drink soda, you increase the risk for developing health problems such as:
- Heart disease
- Tooth decay
When you drink soda with braces, it can be even more problematic, since this excess sugar has more spots to hide in within the mouth. It can hide between the teeth, around your brackets and beneath your wires, and if not cleaned off properly, it can cause bacteria to form, which can lead to tooth decay and gum disease. The high acidity in soda is also a culprit for breaking down the enamel of your teeth. As you can see, soda is not doing your body good.
Drinking Soda with Braces
If you are craving a soda, it’s a good idea to stick to clear sodas, especially when you have braces. Dark sodas can stain ceramic braces if you have them and can also cause your smile to appear yellow. However, it’s recommended to steer clear of soda in general, not just when you have braces, but all the time, to avoid the negative effects it has on our health.
If you’re thirsting for a cold soda though, be sure to enjoy in moderation and drink it through a straw to avoid the contact it has with your teeth. It’s also important to rinse your mouth out or brush your teeth afterwards if you can to avoid bacteria from building up and causing problems.
Alternatives to Soda
Water is always a recommended alternative to soda, since it’s the best way to stay hydrated and it helps keep our bodies healthy. If you’re craving a little carbonation, try sparkling water to help satisfy that craving. Other alternatives include smoothies or juice; however, it’s important to enjoy these in moderation as well, since some varieties tend to contain large amounts of sugar.
In the end, your health matters, not just when you have braces, but all the time. Treat your body right by adopting some better habits. If you’re a soda lover, you may want to consider using your time with braces to discover other healthier beverage options, so you can keep your body healthy and your smile sparkling for life.
At Crescent Orthodontics, our team is excited to help you achieve a beautiful smile! Call to schedule a free initial exam and get started today.