Do you suffer from bad morning breath? Not to worry, it happens to everyone from time to time. And usually, your morning routine of brushing your teeth adequately solves the issue. But if you currently have braces, you may find that your morning break is worse and sticks around for much longer. If you’re worried that your braces are making your morning breath worse, this could be a possibility, but there are several  things you can do yourself to solve the issue.

Dry Mouth

Morning breath is primarily caused by having a dry mouth during the night. This can happen for many reasons, most notably because your saliva production slows as you sleep. This is for a good reason because otherwise you would constantly need to be swallowing while you sleep and you wouldn’t sleep as deeply.

Saliva is necessary for rinsing away food as well as keeping food particles in check. So, when the production levels are lowered during the night, the bacteria in your mouth multiplies and starts to produce sulfur gas which is what makes your breath smell bad in the morning. You can help lower the production of this sulfur gas by brushing your teeth before bed so your mouth starts with the minimum number of bacteria.

What About My Braces?

Can braces make morning breath worse? Possibly, part of the reason you could experience increased morning breath when you have braces is that you aren’t cleaning your teeth as well as you were before you had braces. Take extra care each night to make sure you are removing any food which may get stuck in your brackets as well as using floss to dislodge pieces of food behind your wires and in between your teeth.

Consider a Water Flosser

Getting all of the food out from between your teeth, wires and brackets can be very difficult depending on the layout of your mouth and the placements of your brackets. To help with this, you can also consider investing in a water flosser which can get the areas in your mouth that are harder to reach because of your braces. A water flosser uses a stream of water to get those hard to reach areas of your mouth and behind your wires. Keep in mind that even if you do use one, this is not a replacement for normal flossing, however, and make sure you still floss your teeth with thread floss at least once per day.

Some Additional Tips

Having adult braces is already hard enough without having to deal with worsening morning breath, so make sure you ask your orthodontist for a small brush that is used to get food out from behind the wires. This little brush can help make prepping your mouth for bed easier. Also, drink some water right before bed to help flush out your mouth, as well as right after you wake up to help keep the bacteria under control. It’s also recommended to clear your sinuses before bed so you can breathe through your nose while you sleep, instead of breathing through your mouth.

Rinse Your Mouth

You can also invest in the use of a mouthwash. Just ask your central Jersey orthodontist for his or her recommendation for a mouthwash that would be good for your mouth. Try to pick one without alcohol as this could only cause further dry mouth. You should also consider replacing your toothbrush if it is old. You should aim to change your toothbrush every three to four months as a general rule of thumb.

Stay Hydrated

Something you can do throughout the day which will help with your morning breath is to make sure you are consistently staying hydrated. This way, you’re less like to experience dry mouth situations throughout the day and while you sleep. Also consider replacing sugary beverages in your diet with water, as the sugary drinks only serve as fuel for the bacteria which can cause them to produce more of the sulfur gas as well.

If The Morning Breath Continues

If you wake up in the morning and find you are still experiencing morning breath even after your morning brushing routine, consider carrying a small dental hygiene kit with you and brushing your teeth throughout the day. You should also consider avoiding other causes of bad breath such as coffee, and alcoholic beverages, as these can contribute to dry mouth which increases the likelihood you will experience bad breath. Consider adjusting your diet to include less strong-smelling foods such as garlic, if you believe these could be contributing to your bad breath.

Use Breath Mints

With adult braces, it is not advised to chew gum, but if you are really struggling with bad breath, most orthodontists endorse the use of breath mints. Whichever breath mints you decide to buy, ensure they are sugar-free, so that the sugar won’t stick to your teeth and cause further issues. Also, be very cautious to never bite down or attempt to chew on any hard mints as this could damage your brackets or bands.

Visit Your Orthodontist

If you’ve attempted everything on this list, and you are still experiencing bad breath, it’s probably time to visit your nearest central Jersey orthodontist and discuss your concerns with them. They may be able to look at your mouth and further identify some ways your braces may be causing your bad breath. Don’t worry about it being an awkward conversation, as this is what they are there for!

Life with adult braces can be tough enough already, without the added worry of worsening  morning breath, so make sure you take as many steps as possible to keep the bacteria in your mouth under control. You can also try  a number of other things such as increasing your water consumption and changing your habits to help manage your breath. But if after all of this, you are still experiencing bad breath, which you believe to be caused by your braces, make sure you see an orthodontist and voice your concerns.