Everyone should be aware of their sugar intake, but this is especially true for anyone going through orthodontic treatment. Sugar makes foods and drinks taste better, which is why it’s such a common additive in many packaged products. Because the presence of sugar isn’t always easily detected, it can be easy to consume far more sugar than what is recommended or what you may even realize.
Keep sugar intake at a minimum while teeth are more susceptible to cavities and decay by avoiding the worst drinks for kids to consume while wearing braces.
Watch For Hidden Sugars That Damage Teeth and Braces
Unless your child only drinks water, sugar is likely listed as an ingredient on their favorite beverages. Some drinks that market themselves as “healthy” or “ low calorie” can be just as harmful to a child’s teeth as a can of soda. Always be conscious of the drinks you choose to incorporate into your family’s daily lifestyle by checking the ingredients label for how many grams of sugar a drink contains before you let your kids consume it regularly.
Two of the most harmful things for our teeth are sugar and acid. Because carbonated beverages are full of both, it’s easy to see why soda should be avoided at all costs. Sugar is harmful to the teeth because bad bacteria in our mouth feeds off of it and excretes acid onto the teeth. When drinking something acidic, you’re essentially eliminating a step by applying the acid straight to the teeth. Tooth enamel begins to dissolve, and cavities and decay can easily and quickly form.
Sports drinks are refreshing, especially after a hard workout or a sporting event. While they can replenish electrolytes in your body, they’re often full of sugar and highly acidic. Gatorade has been shown to dissolve tooth enamel as much as other highly acidic drinks, including Coke.
Fruit contains fiber, which helps show the absorption of sugar into the bloodstream. When you juice or blend whole fruit, that fiber is broken down, and the sugar hits you all at once. If your smoothie or juice contains any high acidity fruits, those drinks are causing extra tooth decay to your tooth enamel.
Yogurt Based Smoothies
You may think you’re doing something healthy for your body by eating yogurt. Still, unless you’re only eating plain yogurt, your fruit-flavored selection can have as much as 19 grams of sugar per container, which is almost the recommended daily consumption amount of 25 grams all from your breakfast.
You’re probably already aware that energy drinks aren’t good for anyone on a nutrition level. Filled with sugars and high levels of acid make these caffeine boosters terrible for your teeth and will leave you with a crash effect once the sugars have worn off.
Coffee, particularly black coffee, can leave behind unwanted stains on your teeth, and it’s also incredibly acidic. Additionally, drinking coffee beverages full of flavoring and added sugars can leave your teeth vulnerable to bacteria.
Helping Your Child Keep Their Teeth Healthy Throughout Treatment
The goal of undergoing orthodontic treatment is to achieve a straighter, healthier, and more beautiful smile. Watching what you eat and drink is a critical piece of taking care of braces and keeping teeth as healthy as possible throughout treatment. Milk and water will always be the safest drinks for braces, and everything else like soda, juices, and coffee beverages should be avoided as much as possible. Suppose your child does drink any of the sugary beverages listed above. In that case, we recommend using a straw and rinsing the mouth out with water immediately after they’re finished to reduce the amount of sugar, acid, and dyes coming into direct contact with the teeth.
For more tips on keeping teeth healthy throughout your child’s orthodontic treatment, ask our knowledgeable staff at Thomas Orthodontics during your next checkup.