When you have braces, it is common knowledge that there are foods you need to avoid, but what about drinks? Do you know the damage that certain drinks can cause to your teeth? Many people overlook their dangers, which end up putting them in a bad situation down the road, especially when they have braces. Rather than imbibing on whatever drinks you have a taste for while you have orthodontic treatment, learn the dangers of them and make your choices wisely. Soda Soda should be off limits whether you have braces or not, but when you have braces, it is detrimental that you never drink it. Soda not only has excessive sugar content, but it also contains large amounts of acid. When sugar and acid combine, they cause excessive damage to your teeth. When you have braces on your teeth, the sugar and acids work their way underneath the brackets and start to eat away at the enamel. Even if you brush your teeth soon after consuming the soda, you will not be able to get to the areas behind the brackets. This means you will not know the damage that has occurred until your braces are removed. Juice Juice is just as harmful as soda, believe it or not. This comes as a shock to many people because juice is made from fruit, so it must be healthy, right? The problem is that juice contains just as much (if not more) sugar than soda. This is especially true if you are consuming juice with added sugar, meaning it has the natural sugar from the fruit plus other sugars. This is like bathing your teeth in a bath full of sugar, putting it at risk for decay and your gums at risk for gingivitis. Sports Drinks Sports drinks, such as Gatorade, are just as detrimental to your teeth as juice and soda because they contain high levels of sugar too. These drinks are meant to help replenish your body’s fluids after working out or performing sports, but the truth is that water is the best thing you can drink when you are sweating and working hard. Simple Tips to Protect your Teeth The dangers of these drinks do not mean you cannot ever drink them; you can use them as a treat, once in a great while. The key is how you drink them, however. The best thing to do is drink through a straw. This helps to channel the drink from your lips and straight down your throat. It eliminates the risk of the sugar bathing your teeth. In addition, once you are done drinking, you should drink a full glass of water in order to wash the sugar away from your teeth. If you do have access to a toothbrush after drinking these things, wait approximately 30 minutes as your teeth are the most fragile immediately after being subjected to the acids in these drinks. The basic way to keep your teeth healthy while the orthodontic treatment works hard to straighten your smile is to brush, floss, and drink plenty of water. If you choose water over any other liquid, you will put your teeth in the least amount of harm. Even if you do choose other drinks, keeping your toothbrush nearby is essential. Get rid of those sugars and keep your teeth healthy. In addition, keeping your regular checkups with us to ensure that your teeth are in good condition is the best way to ensure the success of your orthodontic treatment. If you are worried about your teeth while having orthodontic treatment, talk to us about your worries so that we can help ensure your optimal oral health.