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5 Tips for Fresh Breath with Braces 

5 Tips for Fresh Breath with Braces 

Hello,  Dr. Cindy Brayer from Creating Smiles Dental in Clearwater and St. Petersburg, FL here to give you some advice on maintaining fresh breath with braces. Dental hygiene is extremely important, and following good dental hygiene routines becomes even more important when you have braces. Braces, although very helpful in straightening your teeth, can act as an obstacle for your dental hygiene routine.

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! As your dentist, I can promise you there is nothing to be embarrassed about. Stinky breath happens to us all, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t ways to improve our breath!  Here are some tips and tricks to combat bad breath with braces.

Bad breath is caused by bacteria that gets trapped in your mouth. When you have braces, food can easily get stuck in your brackets, creating the perfect grounds for bacteria to grow. Don’t worry though, there are several things you can do to fight stinky breath during your braces treatment. Here are 5 Tips for Fresh Breath with Braces.

Brush and Floss Regularly

Your oral hygiene becomes even more important when you have braces because your braces add in spaces for bacteria to hide. Make sure you brush and floss right when you wake up, after every meal and before you go to bed. If you don’t already brush and floss after every meal, this is definitely the time to start. All of the tiny food particles that get trapped in between your teeth now have extra spaces to hide, which means bacteria will have more to feed off of. You can use traditional floss, a floss threader or a waterpik to remove food from your braces.

Flossing with braces is a little more tedious 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, extra small food particles from your mouth. Make sure you purchase an antibacterial mouthwash for the best results and gargle for up to one minute before spitting the mouthwash out.

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 three drops of food grade peppermint oil into one cup of water, then add one teaspoon of baking soda and gargle the gentle solution.

Stay hydrated

Hydration is important for your overall health, of course, but it is also vital in the prevention of bad breath. Water helps to rinse away any food particles or tiny bacteria left in the mouth. It also helps regulate the production of saliva in your mouth. Dehydration can cause bad breath in a mouth without braces, but because of the extra hiding spots for bacteria, hydration is key for those with braces. 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. Aim to drink six to eight cups of water a day to stay hydrated and to keep your mouth healthy.

Focus on the right foods

Did you know the kind of foods you eat can cause or help eliminate bad breath? 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 the growth of bacteria. 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 can skip your regular dental appointments. Check in with our team at Creating Smiles 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! We are happy to help you master any of these techniques and can even look into other solutions if needed.

Even though you may be embarrassed from your bad breath, it is a totally normal part of the braces process that everyone in treatment experiences. Even dentists and others trained in the dental field run into smelly breath with braces. Braces are a  new obstacle that you have to learn to overcome. Our team at Creating Smiles Dental is 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!

Creating Smiles is one of Pinellas County’s leading providers of cosmetic and general dentistry services, including Invisalign, teeth whitening, dental implants, and oral cancer screenings. To schedule your in-office or virtual new patient consultation please call our St. Petersburg office (727-323-0377) or Clearwater office (727-791-8823).

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