When considering orthodontic treatment, there are some adjustments that will need to be made regarding your oral hygiene routine. One common issue we hear from our patients is that they experience frequent bad breath with their braces. We will explain why it happens and give some tips on what you can do to combat it.
Do braces cause bad breath?
Braces make it easier for food to become stuck in the small gaps of the braces and between the teeth. When bacteria begin to form on the trapped food, it can create bad breath. So, what can you do to keep your breath fresh?
- Regular brushing and flossing are integral for proper oral hygiene and even more important for orthodontic patients. Patients should brush, at a minimum, twice a day, morning and night, preferably after each meal as well to remove any trapped food, which will also help combat bad breath.
- Use a water flosser, such as a Waterpik, to thoroughly clean between your teeth, your gums and around your braces. These are great for cleaning those hard-to-reach spaces and will inhibit bacterial growth. These are far more effective than brushing and flossing alone.
- Add an antibacterial mouthwash to your oral hygiene routine for optimum results. Like the water flosser, mouthwash gets in between the tight spaces between teeth, around brackets, and under your gums, rinsing out and killing any germs and bacteria.
- Drinking water will help increase the amount of saliva your body produces and prevent you from becoming dehydrated. A dry mouth is a perfect place for bacteria to grow so get your daily recommended cups in to help fight off bad breath.
- Don’t skip those dental cleaning appointments with your dentist! These are essential during your orthodontic treatment, and every 6 months thereafter. Your orthodontist is not checking your teeth for decay as your dentist does, so it is important to have them checked by your dentist and professionally cleaned by a hygienist to catch tooth decay early and prevent cavities. Your dentist may also be able to identify other issues that may be causing your bad breath besides your braces.
Keeping your scheduled appointments with your orthodontist, following a good oral hygiene routine, staying hydrated, and regular cleanings will all help to keep your treatment on track. However, if you have any questions or concerns about persistent bad breath, your braces, or any other oral health concerns, feel free to contact us at 281-225-6784.