Orthodontic work is a years-long investment that will pay off with a lifetime of straighter teeth and more confident smiles. Your dentist in York knows very well that orthodontic work presents some challenges. They’re committed to helping you achieve your teeth straightening goals as quickly and comfortably as possible. One question every dental office in York gets over and over is this: How can I prevent bad breath while wearing braces.
Why do braces cause bad breath?
Braces from a dentist in York don’t cause bad breath, but they can contribute. Bad breath can be caused by the accumulation of bacteria in your mouth. Bacteria need food to eat, and braces can trap bits of food on and around your teeth. As the bacteria eat those food particles, they produce sulphur compounds that cause halitosis — bad breath. The key to eliminating bad breath while wearing braces is keeping those braces clear of food particles.
Seven ways to deal with bad breath while wearing braces
Brushing and flossing
If brushing at the beginning and end of the day — and after each meal — isn’t keeping bad breath at bay, you may need to increase how often you brush and floss. Flossing in the usual way is a little harder with braces, but you don’t have to do it in the usual way. Buy a threader at just about every drug store. It’s a disposable tool that you’ll load with floss and will make flossing with braces much more effective.
As effective as brushing and flossing with a threader can be, antibacterial mouthwash will be even more effective at clearing bacteria and killing germs lurking amongst your braces, and removing food particles that feed them. You’ll find antibacterial mouthwashes in grocery and drug stores. You can also make your own by adding a couple of drops of tea tree oil and peppermint oil and baking soda to water.
Saliva in your mouth is the perfect habitat for bacteria which will, by consuming food particles, produce halitosis. Your mouth produces more saliva when it’s dry. If you keep hydrated by drinking lots of water, your mouth will produce less of the saliva that bacteria thrive on.
It was true before you had braces and will be true long after your braces are gone and your teeth are straight. Some foods — here’s looking at you, garlic — contribute to bad breath more than others. To reduce the chances of bad breath, avoid eating those foods.
With your braces, though, it’s also a good idea to avoid sticky and sugary foods that are harder to clean and may contribute to tooth decay. This might be a good time to give up coffee for a while.
As effective as these strategies may be once fully ingrained, some bad breath may linger. To deal temporarily with lingering bad breath, use breath-freshening mints while avoiding breath-freshening gum. With time, your new oral care habits should be so well-established that you won’t need to rely on breath mints to keep bad breath at bay.
In the same way that mouthwash can be helpful in clearing braces of bacteria, a water pick’s jets can be even more effective than just a toothbrush at removing food particles.
Lean on your orthodontist in York
Even without braces, having your teeth cleaned regularly by a dentist is an essential part of every oral hygiene regimen. The same is true while undergoing orthodontic work. Make and keep regular appointments with your orthodontist to have your teeth cleaned while wearing braces. It’ll keep your breath cleaner, too.
If you have any questions about your orthodontic treatment, including about bad breath, take a minute to ask your dentist in York how they can help. They’re committed to helping you achieve your goals of straighter teeth as comfortably as possible.