As school ends and summer begins, it can be easy to lose discipline with our diets. And when you’re wearing braces, you already know to avoid crunchy and chewy foods, but it’s also important to be mindful about beverages. Whether you say soda or pop, it’s all sugary carbonation. And while we may enjoy this treat, it’s not the best for your teeth! “Why,” you ask? It’s pretty simple. We all know that humans need food. And guess what? So do bacteria. And what sustains it? The sugar that you eat throughout the day. Yep, that’s right. And it stays in your mouth until you brush it away. The bacteria turn the sugar into acid, which then eats away at your tooth enamel. Hello, cavities. If you’re wearing braces, this can cause some problems.
ACID. Enamel’s Enemy.
Not only does sugar decay tooth enamel, but acid does, too. So you’re not even safe with diet soda! And since soda acid has a cumulative effect on enamel, drinking that pop over a period of time exacerbates the issue.
But I Need Caffeine!
Scientists agree at this point that caffeine hinders calcium absorption. And since calcium is the foundation of healthy bones and teeth, this is more than a problem. Want the breakdown? Two 12-ounce caffeinated soft drinks can lead to a loss of 5mg of calcium. WHAT? Yep. And if you’re drinking super-sized sodas, you’re most likely drinking fewer calcium-rich beverages.
What Do I Do?
Keep your chin up. You can take measures to cut down on this tooth tragedy:
- Curb that bad habit. Try to avoid introducing your kids to soda if possible. Bad habits (and good ones!) start early. If your children are used to milk and water, they won’t expect that super sweet and fizzy libation. And they may even grow to find them distasteful.
- Keep Soda as a Treat. Soda really shouldn’t be a mainstay. Have it every once in a while as a treat. Equate it to candy!
- Opt for healthier drinks. Kids want something FUN! Go for fruit and vegetable-infused water or herbal tea. They come in fun flavors, and they are excellent choices for enjoyable options with all the health benefits.
If you have any questions regarding your diet while wearing braces, or proper care of your braces, please give our office a call today! We can help you be healthy, and get you that SMILE to last a lifetime!