The AAO (American Association of Orthodontists) is prestigious orthodontic association that helps influence policy and is a go to for people who want to learn about orthodontics. Recently, they have made a press release public on their website entitled “A Recipe for Disaster” that is all about the dangers of drinking soft drinks and soda pop during orthodontic treatment.
Although many people know to avoid candy and sugar, most people still drink soft drinks, which is basically just liquid candy. The press release also warns that sugar free soda is still very bad for your teeth, and should be avoided during orthodontic treatment. The press release also talks of sports drinks, fruit juice and other high sugar content drinks that are advertised as healthy, but are still bad for your teeth, even if they do contain nutrients and vitamins that are otherwise good for you.
The problem with sports drinks, soda pop and all things acidic
Although the main problem with soft drinks is their extremely high sugar content, there are also problems with sports drinks, which tend to have lower amounts of sugar and with sugar free, so-called “diet” soft drinks as well. These drinks are very acidic, and thus are bad for your tooth enamel, as acids dissolve this very precious mineral matrix that coats and protects our teeth and the nerves that are insulated deep within their pulp chamber.
Your teeth are at a somewhat vulnerable state during orthodontic treatment. Not only is the periodontium inflamed and not only is it harder to clean the teeth, but the metallic brackets also leech important minerals from the tooth enamel. Soft drinks are just a bad idea in these cases, as the already weakened enamel may react very badly to the presence of highly acidic soft drinks, particularly if they have high sugar content. But sugar is not even needed to form a cavity in these cases, it is enough for the acid to just dissolve the already demineralised enamel, and there will be a cavity on your enamel.