AAO Ragan Orthodontics in Dallas, TX

Avoiding Bad Breath with Braces

Braces have evolved throughout the years to become far less conspicuous and much easier to maintain. One thing that has remained consistent, however, is the need for stellar oral hygiene. These devices are prone to trapping small particles of food

While braces themselves are not known to cause bad breath, insufficient self-care and an overgrowth of bacteria in and around braces can certainly prove problematic. Food debris provides mouth bacteria with more to feed on and bacterial activity invariably leads to mouth odors.

At Ragan Orthodontics, we offer various types of braces as an oral solution to patients of all ages. If you’re suffering from misaligned teeth, we can help give you a million dollar smile. Doctor Michael Ragan can help offer great tips to great oral hygiene, so you get the most out of your orthodontic treatment. Contact Ragan Orthodontics today to schedule your consultation.

How to Prevent Bad Breath

Brushing and flossing should be performed after every meal or snack in order to clean the mouth of food particles. If this isn’t possible, it is best to vigorously rinse the mouth with warm water, mouthwash or a mild, saltwater solution.

It is important to note that former cleaning strategies and tools will often prove far less effective after braces have been installed. Moreover, the amount of time that it takes to clean the tooth surfaces and in between them will be significantly increased. This is because food can become stuck in the brackets and beneath the wires. It takes tartar just 24 hours to develop on poorly maintained teeth and plaque can begin to develop in just four to 12.

Other Problems That People Can Experience When Wearing Braces

With braces, bad breath is a sign of considerable bacterial activity, poor grooming habits and food remnants that have become stuck on or around the dental devices. All of these things can lead to issues with the soft tissues in the mouth, including gingivitis and more severe forms of periodontal disease.

Moreover, those who routinely struggle with bad breath while wearing braces are also in danger of developing other oral health problems that could have a long-term impact on overall smile aesthetics. For instance, the teeth can become demineralized as the result of food that has been left behind. In these instances, the acidic activities of bacteria rob the teeth of phosphate and calcium. This leads to decalcification or the formation of small, white scars just beneath the braces.

Preventing Decalcification

Preventing mouth odors and problems like gum disease and decalcification also entails a number of modest changes to the diet. Limiting candy, sodas and other sweets will help to preserve the natural pH of the mouth, thereby creating an environment that will prove more difficult for bacteria to thrive in. Brushing the teeth with baking soda can also prove beneficial. This low-cost cleanser is very effective at restoring natural pH in the mouth.

Brushing With Braces

When brushing with braces, people should always choose brushes with soft bristles. It is also important to take off elastics and any other removable components before getting started. These efforts will help to preserve the integrity of these devices while allowing those who wear braces to maintain fresh-smelling breath and healthy smiles.