Bad breath, or halitosis, is a common condition that affects millions of Americans. In some instances, bad breath can be a sign of an underlying health issue. However, in the majority of cases, bad breath can be eliminated with good oral hygiene. Here are a few tips.
The most important step to removing bad breath is brushing your teeth twice each day.
When you don't brush twice a day, plaque builds on the surface of teeth and along the gum line. The longer this harmful substance stays on your teeth, the more it will irritate your gums and cause bad breath. The debris left behind after eating a meal can also cause bad breath as it traps food particles within crevices in teeth. If the flow of saliva isn't sufficient enough to move these particles out of your mouth, they will begin to decay and become smelly.
By simply brushing your teeth after every meal, you can drastically reduce your risk of having bad breath.
When food particles are not removed properly from between teeth, they sit and rot inside your mouth. Over time, bacteria can build up in the mouth and result in bad breath or a bad taste in your mouth. To combat this, it's important to floss at least once per day. However, if you have braces on, you should be flossing more often, ideally after every meal.
This also helps to remove plaque buildup around brackets and wires, which can cause staining.
Your tongue can collect food particles that break down into bacteria that cause bad breath. To clean your tongue, rinse your mouth with water and brush it with a toothbrush or tongue scraper. Rinse well to remove any remaining bacteria.
If you wear dentures, clean them thoroughly every day using a denture cleanser. If your dentures are loose and uncomfortable, bring them to our office, where we can examine them for you and decide if they need to be relined or replaced.
If you use braces or another orthodontic appliance, be sure to brush and floss your teeth after every meal or snack. This helps ensure that plaque buildup won't lead to cavities or other oral health issues. If you have trouble removing food particles from around your brackets and wires, consider using an interdental cleaner or a water pick.
A dry mouth happens when your saliva production decreases or stops completely. This can happen for a number of reasons, such as breathing through the mouth for prolonged periods of time, certain medications, or cancer treatments. It can also be caused by dehydration.
When your mouth is dry, it can make your breath smell bad over time. This is because saliva washes away bacteria that can form plaque and cause bad breath. Plus, saliva helps break down and neutralize the acids that cause tooth decay.
To treat dry mouth, drink more water, chew sugarless gum, avoid alcohol and caffeine, or try an oral rinse that contains fluoride. If your dry mouth is caused by medication, ask your doctor if it's possible to change your medicines.
Diet plays a big role in your oral health and bad breath. An unhealthy diet can contribute to gum disease, cavities, and poor overall health. Eating foods high in sugar can increase bacteria in the mouth, which contributes to tooth decay and bad odors. Try to avoid sugary foods and beverages, and instead, consume foods that are good for your overall health as well. Limit the amount of snacks you eat between meals and try to eat a balanced diet that includes vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and protein-rich foods.
Over time, bacteria build up on your toothbrush and can cause bad breath. You should replace your toothbrush every three to four months or after an illness to prevent the growth of bacteria.
It's important to have routine dental cleanings and exams every six months so your dentist and the hygienists can evaluate your at-home oral care habits and make sure you're on the right track. Plus, this is the perfect time to discuss any areas of concern with your oral health.
If you're concerned about bad breath, we can recommend the best treatment plan for you!