Everyone loves a glass of OJ in the morning with a hearty breakfast. But with your new braces, will you still be able to indulge?
Can You Drink Orange Juice With Braces?
You should try not to drink orange juice with braces on. Orange juice is both very sugary and quite acidic. It’s similar to soda and isn’t actually much healthier apart from the extra vitamins.
Sugary and acidic things are both on our list of food and drink to avoid with braces. Sugary things contribute to overall poor oral health. The natural bacteria in your mouth are attracted to sugar, and “feed” on it to form plaque.
Plaque buildups are bad for oral health and can lead to cavities and possibly losing a tooth if not managed properly. The extra acid from fruit juices like orange juice can wear down the enamel of the tooth, again leading to the same problems – plus an extra complication for those of us in braces!
Why Is Drinking Orange Juice With Braces Bad?
Drinking orange juice with braces causes two extra problems because orange juice is high in acid. This leads to: –
- Acid can break down the bonds in the glue that keeps braces stuck to teeth – leading to broken brackets
- Acid and sugar get caught in hard-to-clean areas between braces and teeth, leading to staining around the braces that can leave a distinctive brace shape after they’re removed
Is It OK To Drink Orange Juice With Braces Occasionally?
Though we don’t advise drinking orange juice with braces at all – it’s probably okay once in a while. Just make sure you follow our tips. This advice goes for most sugary drinks like soda, milkshakes, and fruit juices.
Drinking Orange Juice With Braces Tip #1
Get a reusable straw that you can carry around with you. I use a metal straw that will last basically forever. Sip to the back of your mouth so the juice doesn’t sit on your teeth and braces as long.
Drinking Orange Juice With Braces Tip #2
Once you’re done with the juice, rinse your mouth out with water. Water neutralizes acid in the mouth, you’ll wash away any remaining acid while rinsing. You can also use a water flosser to help rinse and get acid and sugar out of harder-to-reach spots.
Drinking Orange Juice With Braces Tip #3
Wait 30 to 60 minutes, then brush your teeth. When your teeth are covered in acid the enamel is weakened slightly for a short time. Give it time to rest (the American Dental Association recommends 30 minutes) and for the acid to be neutralized by your saliva, then brush to remove any sugar.
Aren’t Natural Sugars Better For Your Teeth?
No, this is a myth! Natural sugars aren’t better for your body or teeth. The only difference is that natural sugars tend to come with the vitamins and minerals from the fruit – nothing to do with the sugar itself. Juicing fruit (especially Oranges) also breaks down the fiber, which is a good part of a healthy diet.
So a glass of orange juice as compared to an orange will have a lot more sugar, less fiber, and – depending on the brand and labeling – probably have added sugars and possible extra “aromas” to make the juice more appetizing.
So is soda or juice better? If you are absolutely going to drink a sugary drink and both have the same amount of total sugar (not just added sugar) then juice will normally contain more minerals and fiber than a soda. We’d suggest just drinking water.
If you’re looking for other things to enjoy with braces, check out our list of fruits to eat with braces and our list of food to avoid with braces. For more breakfast food, try eggs or toast. If you’re wondering if other breakfast options are healthy, read can you eat cereal with braces?