If you have braces, you probably already know that they can make oral hygiene a little more complicated and time consuming. First impressions are already nerve wracking and bad breath is an important concern many people have. Braces may compound all of that so here are a few ideas for keeping your breath fresh with braces.
What Causes Bad Breath?
Understanding what causes bad breath can go a long way towards keeping your breath fresh with braces. Most of the time, bad breath is caused by bacteria in the mouth. Bacteria content can grow out of balance in the mouth when adequate oral hygiene isn’t practiced regularly.
If your breath is frequently smelling less than fresh, it’s important to address it because bad breath is often a sign that there is extra bacteria lingering in the mouth which can lead to other problems as well such as cavities, gum disease or infection.
How Do I Fight Bad Breath?
Keeping your teeth clean is the number one way of keeping your breath fresh with braces. Brushing your teeth after each meal and flossing daily to remove food debris and plaque is usually all that is needed to maintain fresh breath.
If you’ve done this and your breath still doesn’t seem to stay fresh, be sure to focus on any difficult to clean areas that may harbor bacteria-containing plaque. For example, in between teeth, around the brackets or attachments of your braces or other orthodontic appliances, and along your gum line.
When to See a Dentist
It’s important to know when to visit your dentist to ensure good oral health. Professional cleanings are usually recommended every 6 months for those who practice good oral hygiene at home, so if it’s been more than 6 months since your last cleaning or you’re noticing signs that there may be bacteria or plaque buildup, such as bad breath, it’s important to see your dentist to ensure that it doesn’t cause other problems.
Braces can make oral hygiene extra challenging and professional dental cleanings are crucial especially when you are undergoing orthodontic treatment. If you’re experiencing recurring bad breath, don’t ignore it or mask it with a mint. Make an appointment with your dentist and get to the source of the problem.
Call our Homewood Dental Office to make an appointment with a dentist who may be able to help you find out more about this topic, and improve your oral health.