Hello Dr. Randy Wright here at Wright Orthodontics in Batavia, IL. You have probably heard your friends talk about the not-so-glamorous side of having braces. But what’s the stinkiest part of braces? Yep, that’s right, bad breath! It’s definitely a part of braces no one wants to talk about, but it’s totally normal! If you notice your breath smelling less than fresh with braces, fear not, we have some easy tricks to help you.
Bad breath is caused by bacteria that get trapped in your mouth. When you have braces, food can easily get stuck in your brackets, creating the perfect conditions for bacteria to grow. Don’t worry though, there are several things you can do to combat stinky breath with braces. Here are 5 Tips for Fresh Breath with Braces.
Brush and Floss Regularly
Your oral hygiene becomes even more important when you have braces. Make sure you brush and floss right when you wake up, after every meal, and before you go to bed. You can use traditional floss, a floss threader, or a Waterpik to remove food from your braces.
Flossing with braces is a little more meticulous than without, but it is vital to removing the food from between your brackets. Take your time and start by threading the floss between your teeth and the main wire, then wrap the end of the floss around your index finger. Once the floss is in place, gently move it between your teeth. Once you have removed any food particles, carefully remove the floss and repeat throughout your mouth.
Make sure you are gentle while flossing so you don’t accidentally knock your wire loose. If you happen to knock the wire loose, be sure to call your orthodontist as soon as possible so they can fix the wire.
Use the right mouthwash
Gargling with mouthwash after you brush and floss can remove any additional, small food particles from your mouth. Make sure you purchase an antibacterial mouthwash for the best results.
If you have sensitive teeth, you can either buy a mouthwash made specifically for sensitive teeth or combine a few gentle ingredients to make a homemade mouthwash. Simply add a few drops of food-grade peppermint oil to a water and baking soda mixture and gargle the gentle solution.
Hydration is always important, and it can cause bad breath in a mouth without braces. But when you have braces, the perfect condition for bacteria, a dehydrated mouth can make that worse. When you are dehydrated, your mouth produces less saliva, and with a dry mouth comes more bacteria growth. This can make bad breath even smellier. Make sure you always have a water bottle on hand and focus on intentional hydration.
Focus on the right foods
Eating healthy, less sugary foods like fresh fruits and vegetables can significantly help with bad breath. Excess sugar can lead to increased bacteria growth, so limiting refined sugars can help limit bacteria growth. It can also be helpful to avoid strong-smelling foods like onions and garlic. You don’t have to completely eliminate these foods from your diet, but limit them when you can and opt for a healthy option to keep your breath fresh.
Visit your orthodontist and dentist regularly
Just because you are undergoing orthodontic treatment doesn’t mean you don’t need to skip your regular dental appointments. Check in with us regularly for routine cleanings and let us know about any issues you are experiencing. If you struggle to eliminate your bad breath, let us know and we can help you find the perfect solution!
While bad breath can seem embarrassing, it is a totally normal part of the braces process that everyone in treatment experiences. We are here to help you in any way you need. If you have any questions or concerns, call our office and we will do our very best to help you!
Wright Orthodontics is a 5-star family oriented practice serving the Batavia community. We specialize in orthodontic treatments for children, teens, and adults, including braces, Invisalign, and accelerated orthodontics. Call us at (630) 208-1200 or click to schedule your complimentary consultation.