Soda, Braces, And Your Teeth

What’s In That Drink?

You probably already know that soda is chock full of sugar, but did you know that it’s also highly acidic? For reference, stomach acid, one of the strongest acids, has a pH of 1.5, whereas water is neutral at a pH of 7. Soda ranges in acidity from RC Cola with a pH of 2.387 to Mug root beer with a pH of 4.038. The strong acidity from citric and phosphoric acids is actually the reason for all the sugar—without it, soda would be too sour to drink!

Effects On Teeth

The sugar and acid in soda launch a two-pronged attack on your oral health. Sugar is bacteria’s favorite food, so you’re giving the bacteria in your mouth a feast when you drink anything full of sugar, which allows them to reproduce faster. You’ll end up with bad breath and a higher risk of cavities as a result.

As for the acid, the protective enamel coating your teeth is vulnerable from the first swig. Even the least acidic sodas like root beer aren’t safe, because enamel begins to dissolve at a pH of 5.5.

You can see how the process works in this video:Plus Braces

Without braces, it’s not too difficult to clean away most of the residue from soda by sticking to the standard oral hygiene regimen of brushing twice a day and flossing once a day. With braces, there are countless additional tiny, hard-to-reach caverns where bacteria can flourish, feasting on the sugar left behind by soda and destroying your tooth enamel.

You may not even be aware of the damage until your braces come off and you find yourself with obvious white stains around where your brackets used to be. For the sake of your teeth (not to mention your overall health), it might be time to cut soda out of your diet.

If You Must…

Giving up soda can be hard, but there are a couple of ways to reduce its effects on your teeth if you can’t quit drinking it entirely.

  • Drink through a straw. When you use a straw, the soda has minimal contact with your teeth. It’s the same reason that drinking through a straw makes it easier to enjoy a cold drink if your teeth are sensitive to low temperatures.
  • Don’t just take little sips! The longer you take to drink something sugary and acidic, the longer your teeth are exposed to enamel-destroying substances.
  • Don’t have a soda by itself; drink it with a meal instead, and follow it up with a drink of water to rinse the soda off your teeth.

Take Care Of Those Smiles!

We love our patients, and we want all of you to love your smiles when those braces come off. Don’t let fizzy drinks be your downfall! If you have any questions about the effects of soda on your teeth, please contact us.

Thank you for being a part of our practice family!

The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

How Everyday Habits Affect Your Teeth

TOOTH ENAMEL HAS the pretty cool reputation of being the hardest substance in the human body. So it may come as a surprise to know that while enamel is super tough, it can also break quite easily! The truth is that our teeth are not invincible, and a lot of everyday habits can put our oral health at risk.  It's important to avoid all of these habits when you have braces too!

Watch Out For These Tooth-Damaging Habits

Many of these habits seem harmless, but over time they can do a lot of damage to that beautiful smile of yours!

Nail Biting

We may refer to closely-matched sports games as “nail-biters,” but that doesn’t mean we should actually be biting our nails! Nail biting can cause teeth to chip or break as well as lead to enamel damage. The front teeth are often the first to suffer wear and tear from nail biting.

Due to the increased pressure on teeth during orthodontic treatment, biting your nails with braces can put you at greater risk for tooth resorption (a shortening of the tooth roots) or tooth loss. For the sake of teeth everywhere, let’s keep the term “nail-biter” as a manner of expression rather than a label for ourselves!

Using Your Teeth As A Tool

That darn packet of ketchup just won’t open! While your teeth may seem to be the perfect solution, using them as a tool will cause more harm than good. As strong as your teeth may be, they are not meant to be used as pliers or any other sort of tool. Doing so can lead to fractured or broken teeth and even tooth loss. As a side note, tooth damage puts you at greater risk of decay and cavities!

Gnawing On Pens And Pencils

You may be solving a difficult problem or simply thinking. Before you know it, the end of your pen or pencil is in your mouth. This oftentimes unconscious habit is an important one to be aware of. We don’t realize how much pressure we’re placing on our teeth when we bite down on something that isn’t food.

Chewing on your pen or pencil puts you at risk for broken teeth and even damage to existing dental work. Constant chewing on hard objects can compromise dental restorations such as fillings or crowns. When it comes to this bad habit, we say stay away!

Chewing Ice

Are you an ice chewer? Chewing on ice is another huge culprit behind chipped, cracked and fractured teeth. The cold can weaken teeth even further, leaving them more susceptible to breakage.Chewing ice cubes doesn’t just chip teeth, it chips away tooth enamel as well, causing serious damage over time. Even your blender needs special blades to crush ice! So next time you’re tempted, just remember your teeth aren’t equipped to crush ice cubes.

Do Your Chompers A Favor

Your teeth are made to chew food and nothing more. If you’ve got one of these bad habits, do your chompers a favor and work on quitting. 

Our patients rock!  We are proud to serve the Snoqualmie Valley and surrounding cities: North Bend, Fall City, Snoqualmie, Carnation, Duvall, Snoqualmie, Maple Valley, Issaquah, and Sammamish!

The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.


Calcium Isn't Just Good for Bones—It Benefits Your Smile Too!

WE'VE ALL BEEN TOLD (and many of us tell our children) that milk builds strong bones. But our nutritional and dietary preferences are not only widely varied, they also change from time to time. Does milk really “do a body good”? Some believe it does, and others believe it doesn’t.

Regardless of your take, you’re not alone. Today, millions of people follow vegan or vegetarian diets, and tens of millions of people are lactose intolerant. We can actually think of a few patients just off the top of our heads who are vegetarians!  Whether or not you choose to avoid dairy for health or other personal reasons, here are some thoughts from our team.

Calcium and Vitamin D Play a Key Role in Oral Health

It’s true that dairy products are full of calcium, and often supplemented with vitamin D (which helps your body absorb calcium and other bone-building minerals). While people on specialized diets (including vegans and vegetarians) are typically very careful about eating healthy, there’s still a risk of calcium and vitamin D deficiency.

One of the dangers in calcium and vitamin D deficiency is the increased risk of periodontal (gum) disease. In addition, these deficiencies can weaken your teeth and lead to tooth decay. Without the right vitamins and minerals, your mouth’s defenses may be down.

Need a Good Source of Calcium? Dairy Isn't the Only Option!

The good news is that, if you choose, you can get these nutrients from alternative sources. For example, just one ounce of sesame seeds contains almost as much calcium as an entire glass of milk. Other major sources of calcium are dark leafy greens like spinach, kale, and collard greens.

When it comes to vitamin D, surprisingly, your best source is the sun! When exposed to the sun’s radiation, your body naturally produces vitamin D. But of course, be careful and use common sense—you also know the potential problems associated with prolonged/unprotected sun exposure.  

Being in the pacific northwest, it is very important to get vitamin D from outside sources since the sun makes very rare appearances throughout our winter months.
There are also a number of things we can eat and drink that are “fortified” with calcium and vitamin D including soy milk, orange juice and some breakfast cereals. You can also consider taking supplements.

Check Out The Video Below For 10 Calcium Rich Options For Your Diet


Do you have questions about this topic? Contact us! Do you have suggestions for others who may be wondering about other sources for their daily calcium? Let us know! Leave a comment below, or on our Facebook page. We love hearing from you!

And, as always, thank you for being our valued patient!  We love serving Snoqualmie Ridge and our friendly neighbors in North Bend, Carnation, Duvall, Fall City, and Issaquah!


The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.