You may have heard that sugar can be bad for your smile. Is drinking sugary drinks like soda bad for your braces? Here’s what you need to know about how soda affects braces to help ensure a healthy smile when you finish orthodontic treatment.
How Sugar Affects Teeth
How soda affects braces is largely due to how sugar affects your teeth because sugar is a common ingredient in many sodas. Sugar can be bad for your smile because it feeds the naturally occurring bacteria in your mouth which can cause the environment of your mouth to become acidic and lead to an overgrowth in bacteria. Acid and bacteria can erode the enamel of your teeth, which is how cavities are formed.
The most harmful sugars are the types that stick to your teeth, such as with candies or other sticky treats. But soda can also reach into all the nooks and crannies between your teeth and leave behind a residue. This is especially true if your teeth already have plaque or tartar buildup that it can attach to.
This can be an even bigger issue when you have braces, since braces create a lot of extra crevices on your teeth for bacteria and plaque to quietly accumulate, which can lead to cavities and discoloration of your enamel on the most visible surfaces of your smile.
Alternatives to Soda
Many people drink soda to hydrate, but soda isn’t designed to be a main source of hydration. Healthy hydration should consist of drinking pure water, with soda or juice used only as a special treat.
If you don’t enjoy the taste of plain water, look for flavor additives without added sugars. If the flavoring uses xylitol as a sweetener, that’s even better. This is because xylitol has been shown to help reduce the amount of bacteria in your mouth and its ability to adhere to your teeth.
End Goal: A Healthy Smile
If you have braces, it’s already apparent that you care about the health of your smile. We know you want it to look it’s very best at the conclusion of your orthodontic treatment. Talking with your orthodontist about how soda affects braces can be an important step to help ensure the best results and best health of your new smile.
Call our Longview or Tyler dental offices, to make an appointment with a dentist who may be able to help you find out more about this topic, and improve your oral health.