How Can I Prevent Bad Breath While Wearing Braces?

Starting orthodontic care can come with unexpected challenges, such as preventing bad breath (halitosis). If you’ve started orthodontic treatment or are thinking of starting orthodontic treatment for yourself or maybe your child at Feil Orthodontics and you’ve found yourself asking, “How can I prevent bad breath while wearing braces?” you’ve come to the right place. We’re here to ensure your oral hygiene routine is as effective as possible. Join us as we share advice for preventing bad breath and keeping your smile radiant.

Daily Oral Hygiene 

You probably already know that oral hygiene plays a huge role in your oral health and bad breath management. But when you have braces, maintaining good health and fresh breath requires more than the cursory brushing routine you might have had before starting orthodontic treatment. You have to make sure you’re thoroughly cleaning your braces, teeth, and gums, or else bad breath might be the least of your worries!

Upgrade your oral hygiene routine with these tips to reduce the risk of bad breath:

  • Brushing Technique with Braces: Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste to brush your teeth after every meal and snack. The goal is to remove food particles and plaque that can get trapped around the brackets and wires. Putting the toothbrush at an angle can help you get a more thorough clean.
  • Flossing With Braces: Flossing daily is crucial for removing debris between teeth and along the gum line, areas often missed by brushing alone. Careful and purposeful flossing is critical for preventing the buildup of plaque, which can lead to bad breath. Utilize a floss threader or a water flosser to navigate the floss under the wires of your braces. We also recommend using an interdental brush (interproximal brush) to help you get under the wire and between the brackets. (Bonus: These brushes are also great for on-the-go cleaning!)
  • Rinsing With Mouthwash: After brushing and flossing, rinse your mouth with an antiseptic or antibacterial mouthwash. This step helps kill any lingering bacteria, reducing the risk of bad breath. Choose a mouthwash with a flavor you like; a refreshing aftertaste will make your breath smell fresh.
  • Tongue Cleaning: Don’t forget your tongue – it’s a hotspot for bacteria that cause bad breath. Use a tongue scraper or your toothbrush to gently clean the surface of your tongue each time you brush your teeth. This simple step can significantly reduce odor-causing bacteria and keep your breath smelling fresher for longer.

If you have questions about products, your routine, or more specific instructions on brushing, flossing, or using mouthwash, don’t hesitate to ask Dr. Feil at Feil Orthodontics or your trusted dentist!

How Can I Prevent Bad Breath While Wearing Braces?

Diet And Lifestyle Adjustments

Fresh breath doesn’t stop at just brushing and flossing! You’ve got to change some parts of your daily routine, too. Here are some habits you should incorporate into your day to prevent bad breath all day long.

  • Avoid Food That Could Damage Your Braces: Braces can trap food particles, leading to bad breath. It’s best to steer clear of sticky, sugary, or starchy foods that cling to braces and teeth. Caramel, gum, and soft candies are examples of particularly problematic foods. We also suggest consuming strong-smelling foods (such as garlic and onions) in moderation, as they can contribute to bad breath. (Bonus: Eating proper food protects your braces from damage!)
  • Don’t Forget To Drink Your Water: A dry mouth is a breeding ground for bacteria that cause bad breath. Drinking plenty of water throughout the day helps wash away food particles and bacteria. Water also promotes saliva production, which naturally cleanses the mouth. Carry a reusable water bottle with you everywhere you go so you have your bad breath-preventing, hydrating beverage all the time. (Bonus: Staying hydrated also reduces the risk of mouth sores and irritation.)
  • Enjoying Healthy Snacks Helps You Enjoy Fresh Breath: Crunchy fruits and vegetables like apples, carrots, and celery can help clean teeth naturally. They increase saliva, an essential substance for neutralizing acids and washing away food particles. Yogurt is another excellent option, as it contains probiotics that can help balance the bacteria in your mouth, reducing the risk of bad breath.

It’s that easy to minimize your chance of having bad breath! Feil Orthodontics is happy to give you all the details you need to ensure your diet and lifestyle routine make your orthodontic experience as pleasant and beneficial as possible. 

Bonus Tip: Breath mints are excellent ways to make your mouth minty and fresh. Be careful when picking your mints, though! Not all are good for teeth or braces. Double-check with Dr. Feil before using anything new. 

Professional Dental Care

Just because you’ve started seeing Dr. Feil doesn’t mean you can stop seeing your dentist! Yes, orthodontists are dentists, but we don’t offer the same services. 

Dental professionals play a key role in ensuring that your mouth remains clean and healthy, addressing any issues that could contribute to halitosis. Keep seeing your dentist for cleanings and checkups as often as they recommend. 

At your regular cleanings, your dental team will professionally clean your teeth. These deep, detailed cleanings are crucial to defending your teeth, gums, and braces against the sneaky buildup of plaque and tartar that threatens your oral health and is a prime culprit behind those not-so-fresh moments. These professional cleanings go way beyond what you can do at home with a toothbrush and floss, getting into every nook and cranny to keep your mouth feeling clean and smelling fresh.

Regular checkups are also essential if you’re experiencing persistent bad breath despite following a strict oral hygiene regimen. Your dentist can investigate other potential causes, such as gum disease, dry mouth, or other dental issues that may not be directly related to your braces. For example, tooth decay, cavities, and gum disease can all cause rotten breath. By diagnosing and treating these concerns early, your dentist not only cuts down on your bad breath but also prevents the conditions from worsening. 

How Can I Prevent Bad Breath While Wearing Braces?

Feil Orthodontics Can Take Care Of The Entire Family!

For more information about oral hygiene, new habits for braces, dental sessions, and anything else related to orthodontics and a perfect smile, don’t hesitate to contact us!

Has this article helped you combat your fears of bad breath when starting orthodontic treatment? Schedule a free consultation with Feil Orthodontics in Bismarck, Mandan, or Beulah today for you or your child! Discover all the ways that a dream smile could become a reality.