If you just had braces put on, then you probably know the struggle to keep your breath smelling fresh and clean. As you get used to your braces it becomes easier, but until then, you can follow this guide to prevent bad breath with braces.

No one wants to have bad breath! Be sure to follow these eight ways to avoid having bad breath while you wear your braces.

What’s Causing Bad Breath?

Bad breath is caused by bacteria that are trapped in your mouth. When food gets stuck in your teeth or braces, bacteria consider this to be the perfect environment to grow. They can make your breath smell less than pleasant.

Many people suffer from bad breath, especially when they get braces. However, there are plenty of ways that you can prevent it from happening again in the future. Once you know what is causing your bad breath, the problem becomes very easy to fix.

Some other reasons for bad breath include poor oral hygiene, smoking, and gum disease. It can be beneficial to talk with your orthodontist when you are not sure what is causing the bad breath issues.

Ways to Prevent Bad Breath With Braces

1. Brush and Floss

Your oral hygiene is important, but you want to spend even more time taking care of your teeth when you are wearing braces. You should always brush after eating, when you wake up, and before you go to sleep.

There are special tools you can use to floss while wearing braces. They can be used to remove bits of food that would otherwise attract bacteria. Plus, they can reach where your toothbrush can’t.

Here’s a quick rundown of how to floss with braces:

  • Thread the floss between the main wire and your teeth
  • Wrap the floss ends around your index fingers
  • Softly move the floss between your teeth, then along the sides
  • Carefully remove the floss
  • Repeat

It is important that you floss slowly and gently while wearing braces. You do not want to accidentally knock the wire loose- that would mean a trip to the orthodontist! Instead of using a traditional piece of floss, you may be more comfortable using a tool. Be sure to ask us for one.

Your bad breath should go away once you start brushing at least twice a day. If it persists, however, you should talk with your orthodontist. There may be underlying issues causing the bad breath.

2. Use the Right Mouthwash

If you are using mouthwash, then you want to be sure that it is an antibacterial version. You can use it right after brushing and flossing for the best effect. Liquids can easily reach into the spaces between your teeth, removing the bacteria that hide there.

For those with sensitive gums that burn when using mouthwash, you do have alternatives. You can use a couple of drops of tea tree oil, along with peppermint oil, in a water and baking soda mixture. This mixture does not burn and is still antibacterial. It should disinfect your mouth without causing that burning feeling.

3. Eat Certain Foods

Braces and bad breath do not have to go hand in hand. One way to avoid bad breath is to watch what you eat more carefully. You should avoid strong-smelling ingredients, such as onions or garlic. Sugary foods are also not good to eat with braces- they can also cause tooth decay, which leads to bad breath!

4. Drink Water

Water is essential to your body for many reasons. It also prevents bad breath with braces. This is because, when you are not hydrated, your body does not produce saliva.

A dry mouth can cause a better environment for bacteria, which then leads to bad smelling breath. You can avoid this by simply drinking more water throughout the day. Having a water bottle on hand can help greatly.

5. Carry Breath Mints

It can be helpful to bring breath mints with you to work or class, or other places where you do not want to brush your teeth. These should be used as a temporary fix and should not replace good oral hygiene.

Remember that you should not chew gum with braces! Gum will stick to your braces and potentially cause issues. However, mints are perfectly fine to use. They will help to deal with bad breath in a pinch.

6. Get a Water Pick

Water picks are tools that use spraying water to clean your teeth, gums, and braces. They are more effective than toothbrushes and provide your mouth with a deep clean. They work wonders on adolescent braces since they can reach between the teeth easily.

That way, you can feel confident that you are removing all the bacteria from your mouth. Even from spaces, you thought you could not reach.

7. Use a Tongue Scraper

These little tools can be used during your normal brushing routine. They help to remove bacteria that are stuck to the surface of your tongue. Tongue scrapers can be their own item or may come on the back of a toothbrush. It only takes a few seconds to do and can greatly improve your breath.

8. Visit Us Regularly

Finally, it is important that you check in with your orthodontist regularly. That way, we can check on your progress and provide you with a professional tooth cleaning. This will also give us the chance to determine what is causing your bad breath.


We understand that bad breath can be embarrassing- but don’t worry! We are here to help you with all of your oral health problems, including bad breath. We have a lot of experience in helping our patients manage this issue. We can help you too. We always do our best to ensure that your teeth and gums are healthy! If you have any questions, be sure to reach out to us. Our team is dedicated to assisting you with your oral health. We always love to hear from our patients.