Much like other facets of life, the conversation around wearing braces and drinking coffee is nuanced. Is it wrong to drink coffee with braces? Technically, it depends. It’s all about the way you consume the coffee that makes the difference.
If you think that you’ll be able to sit and sip on a hot cup of coffee as you wear braces, know that it might take a few adjustments. Hot coffee that’s directly touching the braces will produce a host of problems such as staining. When wearing traditional braces, you have to consider the brackets in the staining process instead of solely focusing on your teeth.
Drinking hot coffee while wearing braces can also wear down the integrity of the metal. However, sipping coffee through a straw can produce a different result, making coffee drinking more practical and realistic.
What Can I Drink With Braces?
Truthfully, the ideal beverage to consume is water. Water is vital for good health. It powers the body and supports brain function. Drinking too much water isn’t very easy. Especially as you get older, it’s best to make water the first choice.
The more water you drink, the less you’ll need any other beverages to satisfy or energize you.
Milk (plant-based and cows) is acceptable. If you’re going to consume fruit smoothies, be mindful of the fruits you choose, as fruit can be highly acidic. You don’t want to cause erosion due to a high intake of acidic fruits.
However, you’ll still want to monitor what you consume. It’ll also be wise to brush your teeth after consuming any beverage that’s not water. You can also use a floss threader to get bits of a fruit smoothie or similar natural drink from getting stuck in your braces or teeth.
Even when you’re ready to consume water, avoiding soft drinks (including diet soda) and carbonated/sparkling options is much better. Carbonation has potentially harmful effects on the enamel of your teeth as well as the braces.
If you look at most working adults, coffee consumption plays a role in their level of productivity each day. For many people, the idea of going without coffee is enough for many people to skip braces altogether. Thankfully, the two can coexist when there are some proper practices put in place.
It’s important to note that these practices aren’t just suggestions. They are mandatory rules for anyone who wants to consume coffee, wear braces and enjoy straight white teeth in the long run.
For starters, it’s better to drink coffee through a straw. This decreases the chances of coffee resting on the teeth or the braces. This means that you’ll become more familiar with iced coffee as most people don’t want to consume hot coffee through a straw. Though straws are associated with gas and upset stomachs, the key is to sip slowly.
If you decide that drinking coffee through a straw is out of the question, make sure you thoroughly brush your teeth after you’ve consumed your hot coffee. The acid in coffee will cause damage if it’s not removed efficiently and expeditiously.
If you’re a tea drinker, you don’t have to give it up altogether. The key is to consider the type of tea you’re drinking. If you’d like to consume black tea, the same rules for coffee apply to black tea. However, if you’re drinking a tea like green tea or mint tea, consumption can be helpful as these teas contain polyphenols.
Polyphenols are known for their ability to fight bacteria. If you’re going to consume herbal teas, try to do so without adding sugar. If you can drink it unsweetened or with a sugar-free sweetener, that can help you avoid build-up as sugar is terrible for braces, teeth, and overall health.
Beer doesn’t maintain the ability to damage the wires of your braces. However, drinking isn’t something to do in excess if you’d like to protect your smile. Also, while alcohol won’t damage your braces, it can stain them.
If you’re going to consume beer, it’s better to drink it in moderation. Dark beer has some pigment to it. If it’s consumed in excess, this has the potential to stain your teeth.
If you’re going to drink beer, it’s also better to consume lots of water as you do it. Discreetly swish it around your mouth to loosen any potential sugar or acid build-up that can occur as you drink.
A glass of wine in moderation really won’t hurt your braces. However, it’s also important to be mindful that red wine has the potential to stain teeth. It also depends on the type of wine you’re consuming. If you’re drinking white wine or red wine, you don’t have to worry about sugar.
However, if you’re a fan of dessert wines, they can contain a lot of sugar. Sugar is profoundly damaging to the teeth overall.
So, it’s best to follow the same rules as a person who’s drinking a can of beer. Drink lots of water as you sip your glass of wine. Once you’re finished drinking your glass, be sure to thoroughly brush your teeth and your tongue, floss, and gargle. This will decrease your chances of staining, build-up, and more.
There’s no nutritional value in soda. If you’re addicted to it, it’s because of the sugar content. The sugar content in soda is insanely high, and it can cause real damage to the teeth and your braces. Cut it out of your diet completely.
Another reason why you’ll want to cut out soda is that it’s highly acidic. When you consume acidic drinks, your enamel suffers. Not only will this impact the integrity and look of your braces, but it can lead to a host of other dental issues such as tooth sensitivity.
Even though it can be a hard shift at first, recognize that carbonated beverages aren’t worth the problems they cause. If you can’t cut it out cold turkey, focus on gradually decreasing your intake of soda. However, set a timeline so that you can cut it out of your system eventually.
The acidity in lemons can contribute to the erosion of the teeth. If you’re going to consume lemonade, it’s best to do it in moderation. It’s also best to drink it through a straw. It’s also best to avoid tons of sugar as that is equally damaging.
Even if you like lemon-flavored sports drinks, they contain excessive amounts of sugar and acidity as well. To protect the integrity of your enamel, use a straw, decrease the sugar content or avoid it altogether.
If you’re looking to wean yourself off of coffee, hot chocolate can serve as a great alternative as a hot beverage.
While it’s still important to monitor the sugar intake, hot chocolate doesn’t pose a significant problem for those who want to consume the hot beverage as they wear their braces.
Look for unsweetened options that you can pair with milk for a decadent yet utterly safe alternative for the teeth.
Do and Don’ts With Braces?
Be intentional in the process of cleaning your teeth, braces, and tongue. Don’t procrastinate on ways to practice oral hygiene and health. Like you’d walk around with your wallet, keep some dental supplies (floss, floss threader, and toothbrushes) on hand.
Mouthwash is excellent for getting rid of bacteria. Use it regularly.
To avoid cavities, decrease your intake of sugar. Sugar is also bad for braces and tooth enamel.
Altogether avoid candies such as caramels and taffy as they can quickly get stuck within the braces. They’re also tough to remove.
If you’re wearing Invisalign aligners, remove them when you’re ready to consume hot beverages. The heat can cause damage to the aligners. Once you’re finished with your drink, you can place the aligners back into your mouth once you’ve brushed your teeth.
What Can I Eat With Braces On The First Day?
When you first get braces installed, it can be a very uncomfortable experience to get used to. While the discomfort will eventually dissipate, it might take a few days.
During this time, eating hard, crunchy foods might feel uncomfortable. This is why it’s better to stick with soft foods (as your mouth makes the adjustments) such as:
- mashed potatoes,
- oatmeal, or
Can You Drink Coffee With Braces: Final Thoughts
Overall, the conversation surrounding braces and coffee is nuanced. If you have Invisalign aligners, your coffee drinking routine will look different from those wearing traditional braces.
If you’ve only consumed iced coffee, you might not feel as though you need to make a significant adjustment.
The key is to remember is that while all of these considerations are temporary, your teeth are not. You want to maintain healthy teeth that last for as long as possible.
If you develop practices that preserve the health of your teeth, you’ll avoid issues with staining, erosion, and cavities.
Besides, there’s nothing quite like looking in the mirror, flashing a big smile, and loving what you see. A great smile is worth the slight yet temporary sacrifices.