How Soft Drinks Could Cause Permanent Damage While in Orthodontic Treatment

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Occasionally consuming a soft drink like juice, soda, sports drinks, energy drinks or other sugary beverages can be enjoyable, but over-consumption of these highly acidic and sugary drinks not only can cause health problems but can also create permanent damage to your teeth. Drinking these types of beverages can especially be taxing for your teeth during orthodontic treatment.  The American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) recommends that all soft drinks be avoided during your orthodontic treatment in order for your teeth to stay strong, healthy and free of decay.


Acid and sugar mean double the headache.

Soft drinks contain acids. Acid pulls calcium out of the enamel of your teeth which makes the tooth soft and dissolves enamel. This process is called “decalcification” and can lead to cavities and permanent staining. Once enamel dissolves, it does not come back. Not brushing away plaque regularly on your teeth during and after orthodontic care combined with the consumption of soft drinks will lead to a perfect storm of sugars and acids breaking down your teeth making them not as strong, healthy and beautiful as they could be if you avoided soft drinks and brushed regularly and properly.


White marks like these on teeth are a direct result of de-calcification, and are permanent. If you do not remove the plaque that collects around the brackets, between teeth and under the gums, de-calcification can be evident in as little as four months.

Liquids seep into aligners when you drink and the liquid is held against the teeth until the aligners are removed. If the liquid contains acid, the prolonged exposure accelerates damage to teeth. This can lead to extensive decay (pictured above, right) and the need for expensive restoration.

Tips to keep your teeth healthy during and after orthodontic treatment:

  • Avoid soft drinks, especially during orthodontic treatment
  • Drink things like milk and water
  • Brush and floss regularly two to three times per day
  • Use toothpaste with fluoride
  • With aligners (Invisalign) treatment, be sure to remove aligners and brush both your teeth and the aligners if you drink soft beverages with the aligners in your mouth.
  • See your dentist for cleanings every six months