The only thing worse than actually having bad breath yourself is being stuck with someone who does, and this is a dilemma many parents with children who have braces find themselves in. Braces often cause food particles and bacteria to become trapped within the mouth, which can quickly turn into a source for less than desirable odors. Thankfully, bad breath isn’t a guarantee with braces. Using a few simple tips from your orthodontist in Powell, your child will enjoy minty fresh breath all the way until their treatment ends and their newly straightened smile is revealed.
1. Brush & Floss More Often
Whether someone is undergoing orthodontics or not, the best way to maintain friendly breath is to simply brush and floss consistently. For most people, practicing oral hygiene twice a day is recommended, but for children with braces, they should be cleaning their teeth after every meal and snack. This will remove all those food particles that get caught on the brackets and wires before they start to smell. If you haven’t already, this is a perfect time to give your child a toothbrush, toothpaste, and floss they can take with them at all times!
2. Start Using Mouthwash
Rinsing with a mouthwash can help remove small food particles and bacteria that are beyond the reach of brushing and flossing. Be sure to give your child a mouthwash that contains fluoride and is alcohol-free. A mouthwash with alcohol can often lead to dry mouth, which is a common precursor to bad breath.
3. Bring on the Water!
There is no limit to the benefits of drinking more water. It helps people stay hydrated, enables them to skip the sugar and caffeine found in most other popular beverages, and it even stimulates saliva production to neutralize acids found in foods that can potentially lead to cavities. And, for children with braces, it can also help stop bad breath before it ever starts, because increased saliva also kills the germs responsible for those less than pleasant odors.
4. Avoid Bad Breath Foods
Foods that contain a lot of garlic, onions, and various fragrant spices are almost guaranteed to give someone bad breath whether they have braces or not. So, one way you can help your child is by having them eat less of these strong smelling foods. Like with all oral health issues, a little prevention goes a long way!
5. Maintain Routine Dental Visits
Usually, bad breath is just an annoyance, but it can sometimes be an indicator of a much more serious dental problem like a cavity or gum disease. That’s why it’s important that your child receives twice a year checkups and cleanings and sees their orthodontist regularly during their treatment. With periodic exams, a problem can be caught and treated early before it affects their breath or potentially throws off their treatment time.
Living with braces does take a little effort and adjustment on both a child’s part as well as their parents, but it’s all worth it in the end when that perfectly straight smile is revealed to the world. Be sure to put these tips into practice so the last thing your family has to worry about is bad breath!
About the Author
A proud father of three, husband, and award-winning orthodontist, Dr. Jeffrey Shirck has dedicated himself to improving people’s health, appearance, and lives through the power of orthodontics. He’s able to provide treatments perfect for children as well as adults, and you can learn more about your options at a FREE consultation you can schedule online.