Braces require a real commitment of anywhere from 12 to 24 months to straighten a patient’s teeth. If you’re going to go through the rigors of enduring that length of time for straight teeth and a beautiful smile, why risk the results by drinking acidic beverages like soda, coffee, or tea? Your orthodontist in Melbourne, FL is sure to be disappointed with the results of all that work if your teeth end up stained because of soda. Here’s a look at why it is so important to follow the instructions of Dr. Reddick when it comes to your braces!
Soda Stains Your Teeth. Period!
Soda is a very acidic type of drink that eats away at the enamel (the outer shell) of your teeth. Coffee, teas, and wine are in this category as well, but we’re mainly focused on sodas for this article.
Since most patients in Melbourne, FL with traditional braces are teenagers, here’s a way to describe the soda-and-braces dilemma that they will all understand: Drinking soda when you have braces is like giving your teeth a “farmer’s tan.” If you regularly drink soda (or coffee, or tea, or wine) while you have braces, the areas on your teeth where the brackets are cemented in place will be a different color than the rest of your teeth when the braces finally come off.
Imagine going through years of shifting your teeth with braces, only to end up with a set of stained teeth. Your teeth will look like a braces “farmer’s tan,” or like you had the shape of the braces brackets tattooed to your newly straightened teeth. That’s no fun at all, and it’s obviously not the result that you wanted when you started on this whole commitment to braces!
In scientific terms, the pH of soda is so low that it easily erodes the exposed areas of your teeth. A pH of 5.5 is enough to start eroding your tooth enamel; soda has a pH of 2.6. No amount of tooth brushing is going to keep up with that amount of erosion over a 2-year period.
The lesson: Skip the soda! (Please!)
White Lesions on the Teeth
If you are wearing braces and drink soda on a regular basis, you might start to notice white lesions or spots on your teeth. This means a patient is not brushing their teeth as often as they should. Those “spots” on the teeth are locations where the enamel is starting to become demineralized. Regular brushing helps to demineralize the teeth and prevent these lesions.
Meanwhile, the locations where your brackets are cemented to the teeth are staying the same uniform color the whole time. Much like the “farmer’s tan” issue described above, the lesions will stand out even more once the day arrives to remove your braces completely. All of that hard work can be completely erased if a patient doesn’t keep up with regular brushing.
Spoiler Alert: Soda Causes Tooth Decay
If a braces patient doesn’t pick up the pace when it comes to braces, the white lesions on their teeth can eventually lead to full-on tooth decay. That can lead to the need for additional treatment, such as a filling, a crown, or even a tooth extraction. Brushing the teeth while wearing braces is annoying, to say the least. You are dealing with metal wires and brackets to get the job done. But while you are wearing braces, the teeth are more susceptible to decay and cavities than when you are not wearing braces.
Soda only increases the risk of these dental problems when wearing traditional wire braces. The same holds true for invisible braces in Melbourne, or the plastic Invisalign trays that are increasingly popular (the Invisalign trays are REALLY susceptible to staining). Try to commit to just drinking plain old water for the duration of your treatment with braces. Water will give you the best possible results.
If You Absolutely “MUST” Drink a Soda
If you are dying of thirst and the only possible beverage that is available to save your life is a soda — USE A STRAW! This will prevent the sugars and acids in the soda from completely coating your teeth. Thus, leading to the problems listed above. But remember: Water is always the best option until your braces finally come off!
Call Us if You Need an Orthodontist in Melbourne
Melbourne Orthodontics specializes in braces, invisible braces, Invisalign and other treatments. These all help children and adults achieve the best smile and oral health possible. Contact our office today to schedule your next appointment!