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Drinking Pop While In Braces or Invisalign

How does drinking pop effect your teeth?

Pop is a threat to healthy teeth for a few reasons. Firstly, pop contains a lot of acid. Acids against the teeth can eat away at the enamel (the outer defensive layer of your teeth that covers the inner, more fragile parts.) When enamel is compromised, it cannot be replaced and teeth can become sensitive and more susceptible to damage like breakage and decay. Another reason why pop can be harmful to your teeth is that it contains a lot of sugar. Sugar can cause teeth to soften, decay, and decalcify. Decalcification means that the calcium and phosphate in your teeth is being reduced, which can lead to high sensitivity (to things like temperature) and can even cause you to be more susceptible to cavities.

Even if you choose a soda that is low in sugar, or contains no sugars (diet pop, for example) the carbonation and other sweeteners have the same effect on your teeth.

If you want to learn more about how sugar and acids cause trouble for your dental health, check out this article.

How does this effect my braces?

Drinking a lot of pop with braces on, or not thoroughly cleaning your teeth after drinking pop can cause not only your braces, but also your teeth. If you have clear braces or the colored ties around your bracket, they can become discolored. For example, clear braces or white ties can turn yellow when drinking dark pops, and can be stained bright colors if you are drinking things like Fruitopia, Crush, and more. Not only can your hardware become discolored, but so can your teeth! This can be in the form of staining, to the decalcification we touched on earlier that causes your teeth to appear more brown/yellow in color. This is important to note as when you have your braces removed, there will be small squares on each tooth that will have maintained their original color, as the area beneath the bracket has not been exposed to the sugar and acid.

When there are brackets and wires attached to the teeth, there are also new areas for the sugar and acid to hide. In extreme cases where the teeth have heavily decayed, or if oral hygiene is so poor that your dental health is at risk, braces may need to be removed to address the cavities, or be kept off until oral hygiene has improved and stabilized. This can cause your orthodontic treatment to be delayed, and in some cases stopped altogether.

How does this effect my Invisalign?

While Invisalign clear removable aligners do allow for less dietary restrictions, you will still want to be cautious when drinking pop. Firstly, your aligners should be removed when consuming anything other than water. This is not only so that your aligners stay clear and aesthetic, but also so that the sugars and acids are not held up against your teeth between the aligner, creating an environment for cavities to be formed. With Invisalign aligners also comes clear attachments on the teeth, which can become discolored and also require particular attention when cleaning.

The Good News

While this might all sound like really bad news if you love to indulge in your favorite fizzy drink often, the good news is that there are ways to still enjoy pop! The keys here are moderation, great oral hygiene, and to use a straw when you can. Limiting your pop intake reduces the amount of acid and sugar your teeth are exposed to. By drinking pop through a straw, you limit the time the pop is in contact with your teeth, therefore reducing the opportunity for the acids and sugars to get to work. The ultimate way to ensure your teeth are not being harmed by pop consumption is to keep them clean! Brushing and flossing after drinking pop helps to ensure that the acids and sugars are off of the surface of the tooth. You can even rinse with water which will help reduce that contact if you do not have a toothbrush or floss readily available.

If you have any questions with food and drink restrictions while you are in orthodontic treatment, we are happy to answer your questions and provide any information you need. Give us a call at 403-287-0746 or contact us through our website and our experienced team at Cory Liss Orthodontics will take care of you.

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