You’ve decided to take the plunge and use aligners to help you achieve the smile you’ve always wanted. Everything is going well for a while—you’re using your aligners as advised and starting to notice a difference—until you become very aware that your breath constantly stinks. But what do you do?
With proper care and cleaning, you can easily keep bad breath at bay throughout the duration of your aligner use. Here are some tips on how to cure bad breath to ensure you don’t experience any casualties on your way to straight teeth.
What Causes Bad Breath?
The root of bad breath varies from person to person and can range from poor oral hygiene to a medical condition. Here are a few common causes of bad breath:
- Gum disease
- Unclean dentures
- Tooth decay
- Cracked fillings
- Liver disease
- Respiratory tract infections
- Postnasal drip
- Acid reflux
- Chronic dry mouth
What Can You Do About Bad Breath?
In some cases, curing bad breath is as simple as improving your dental hygiene or getting on the proper medication to manage a medical condition. With the help of these tips, you should notice an improvement in your breath and overall dental health.
Brush Teeth Regularly: Regularly brushing your teeth is one of the best ways to prevent bad breath. Make sure you’re brushing your teeth at least twice a day, preferably in the morning and before bed, to inhibit the growth of bad-breath-causing bacteria.
Clean Your Tongue: Not everyone remembers this step while brushing their teeth, but it’s definitely one that needs to be done. With the help of either a tongue scraper or your toothbrush, take the time to properly clean your tongue at every brushing. Residue can easily build up on your tongue and, if not removed regularly, will result in foul breath.
Floss Daily: Daily flossing is essential to ensure every bit of food is removed from your mouth, since any food left behind will attract bacteria, which ultimately leads to bad breath.
Drink Enough Water: Dry mouth is a very common cause of bad breath, but one that can easily be remedied by drinking the recommended amount of water each day. Frequently drinking water helps rinse bacteria and food particles out of your mouth that can otherwise build up and cause bad breath. If you’re taking any medications that cause dry mouth, drinking water may not be sufficient to remedy your bad breath—in this case, speak with your doctor or dentist to see if there is a saliva substitute that might help.
Eat Something: Yes, this might sound counterproductive since most of the above-mentioned reasons for bad breath have to do with leftover food in your mouth, however, certain foods can help stimulate saliva production, which in turn helps rinse food and other bacteria out of your mouth. When your stomach is hungry, stomach acids build up and can cause bad breath. In these instances, chewing on a piece of crisp, fresh fruit or vegetable like carrots, apples, or celery, can help.
Drink More Tea: The use of black tea or green tea has actually been shown to prevent odor-causing bacteria from growing in your mouth. While most people default to using mouthwash to remedy bad breath, mouthwash can irritate your mouth, where green and black teas will not. So the next time you want to freshen your breath, try rinsing with either black or green tea rather than mouthwash to truly freshen up your mouth.
Clean Aligners Properly: One major cause of bad breath in anyone using aligners is the buildup of bacteria on the aligners themselves due to improper cleaning. Whenever your aligners aren’t in use, make sure they’re soaking in a solution of distilled water and either castile soap or baking soda. Brush your aligners regularly and take care not to eat or drink anything while they’re in use.
Keep Up the Good Work
Are you ready to give Smilelove a try and see how much nicer your smile can be? With proper cleaning techniques and good oral hygiene, you can keep bad breath at bay while you achieve the smile of your dreams. We also have a sister company we work closely with called NewSmile - click here to view options where they offer dental monitoring services. Learn more about how it works click here. For those that would like to see results from our customers on how their clear aligners straighten teeth - click here.
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