6 Ways To Combat Bad Breath | Palos Hills Orthodontist
Halitosis, commonly known as bad breath, can be caused by something you ate or drank, or from a health problem. While foul breath related to food resolves on its own, a chronic problem requires more investigation by your dentist. Fortunately, there are solutions.
Halitosis that is not caused by food is often related to bacteria in your mouth. These bacteria are frequently found on the back of the tongue and thrive when your mouth is dry. They can also accumulate on orthodontic appliances. Here are ways to keep your breath sweet.
Be Rigorous About Oral Hygiene
Brush your teeth twice a day and after a spicy meal. Clean between your teeth using dental floss or another interdental (between teeth) cleaner at least once each day or after a meal if you feel food particles lodged in your teeth. Those particles can break down and cause unpleasant odors and tastes.
Brush or Scrape Your Tongue
Even after brushing and flossing, bacteria can remain on your tongue. Talk to our doctor about using a tongue scraper or toothbrush to gently remove tongue film when you brush. Aim for the back of the tongue.
Keep Orthodontic Appliances Clean
If you wear conventional braces, carefully clean brackets and beneath wires each day to remove food particles after you eat. Removable devices such as aligners, mouthguards, and retainers need to be rinsed after meals. We can also recommend a special cleanser. It’s important to prevent invisible bacteria buildup on these appliances.
Dry mouths allow bacteria to thrive. By drinking plenty of water, you can help prevent bacteria growth and reduce the risk of bad breath.
Sugar-Free Mints and Lozenges
The ADA recommends chewing sugarless gum for 20 minutes after eating to boost saliva production. However, gum is off-limits when you have braces. Instead, look for sugar-free mints or lozenges. Just be sure to suck them and not crunch. Keeping your mouth moist slows or prevents bacteria growth, minimizing your chances of bad breath.
Keep Up with Dental Appointments
In addition to your orthodontic checkups, maintain routine hygiene appointments and examinations. If you are still experiencing signs of halitosis, we can check for underlying causes. Some cases have underlying medical causes unrelated to oral health, and we might recommend a visit to your physician.