While undergoing orthodontic treatment with braces, there are a few inconveniences that can arise; one of the most notable is that you could have an increase in bad breath. At CaliSmile Orthodontics, we strive to provide excellent orthodontic care in the West Hills and Encino areas, and we strive to ensure that our patients are informed about their dental health. Read on to learn the cause of bad breath and how to prevent this problem during orthodontic care.
What Causes Bad Breath?
Bad breath, or halitosis, is sometimes more common when you are wearing braces. In this case, the primary cause of bad breath is tiny particles of food that get stuck in your hardware; these particles get stuck around the brackets and under the wires. The bacteria that live in your mouth breaks down the food that is trapped, and a by-product of that process is a not-so-fresh smell. Thankfully, there are a few things you can do to make bad breath less likely.
Watch Your Diet
When you have your braces put on, you are given guidelines about which foods to avoid in order to prevent damage to your hardware. The truth is that there are also foods that you may want to avoid because they can cause bad breath.
Of course, cheese or pungent foods such as garlic can be problematic, but so can foods that are very high in sugar or carbohydrates. Sugar and carbohydrates can cause more odor when they break down when compared with other foods, such as fruit or vegetables. Being mindful of foods that leave a considerable amount of debris in your braces is important.
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Is Your Mouth Dry?
In some cases, braces can make your mouth more dry than normal. The brackets and wires take up more space in your mouth and can sometimes irritate your gum or cheek tissue. One way your mouth may react to both the hardware and possible irritation is to produce less saliva.
Having a dry mouth increases the likelihood of having bad breath due to a few different factors. First, saliva naturally rinses and neutralizes the mouth. It is also responsible for removing some of the food particles that may become lodged in your teeth or braces.
Dry mouth can also be responsible for the decomposition or stagnation of dead cells on the tongue and cheeks that would normally be washed away by saliva; this creates an odor as well.
The best way to combat odor from dry mouth is to make sure you are drinking plenty of water. You can also suck on ice chips (don’t chew them), choose foods with more moisture in them.
How Is Your Oral Hygiene?
Thoroughly brushing and flossing twice daily (at a minimum) is the best way to combat bad breath. Remember: a clean mouth is a healthy mouth! If you aren’t keeping up with your recommended oral hygiene and you leave food particles in your braces, it is likely that bad breath will follow.
How To Treat Bad Breath if You Have Braces
If you have developed bad breath, have no fear. The best ways to treat bad breath when you are wearing braces include:
- Drink plenty of water
- Brush and floss regularly; a minimum of twice daily, and after meals whenever possible
- Use an ADA-approved mouthwash
- Use sugar-free breath mints
- See your dentist regularly for regular cleanings and preventative care
- Talk with your orthodontist for further tips and advice
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Your Best Choice for Orthodontic Care in Los Angeles County
Here at Calismile Orthodontics, we are proud to offer the best orthodontic care in Encino and West Hills.
Dr. Amir Deghan has over 17 years of experience. He and his team will work closely with you to develop your ideal orthodontic plan. We have two convenient and modern dental offices, located in both Encino and West Hills, California.
For a comprehensive orthodontic consultation in one of our Los Angeles County dental offices, give us a call anytime at 310-340-1095 or fill out our online appointment request form.