Skip the Soft Drinks! Sodas and Orthodontics are a Recipe for Disaster

It’s no secret that soft drinks can hardly be considered healthy no matter who you’re asking, but did you know that they’re particularly bad for your orthodontics?

You may not realize that soft drinks, including diet drinks, sports drinks, energy drinks, and fruit juices, contain high levels of acid which can wreck havoc on your orthodontia. In fact, the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) really, really wants you to skip any and all acidic drinks while you have orthodontia.

Children and teens may be the largest consumer group for the soft drink industry—they are also the prime age for orthodontic treatment. Soft drinks are also everywhere we look—vending machines, restaurants, convenience stores, and even our home refrigerators. On top of that, they are heavily advertised, which only makes them more appealing when thirst hits.

But before you reach for a soft drink, you should know that drinking sodas and juices puts you at a greater risk for tooth decay while you’re getting orthodontic treatment because of the high acidity levels in the drinks. The acid in these drinks leeches calcium from your enamel, and eventually dissolves the enamel, almost certainly leading to a cavity. While all kinds of soft drinks are a no-go, including diet drinks, anything that contains sugar is even worse for your teeth during orthodontic treatment. The sugar in sodas interacts with plaque and creates yet another acid, dissolving enamel even faster. And when the enamel is gone, you can’t get it back.

If you’re wondering just how much acid your favorite soft drink contains, check the new AAO educational flier: Soft Drinks + Orthodontic Treatment = A Recipe for Disaster.


In general, orthodontic patients should always skip soft drinks while wearing clear or invisible aligners or retainers. Choose water whenever possible. Use fluoride toothpaste when brushing and remember to brush at least twice a day. Listen to your orthodontist and follow their recommendations about foods and drinks to avoid while getting orthodontic treatment.

Give us a call today for a free, initial consultation. We’re always happy to answer questions and help you decide if orthodontics is right for your family.