Did you know that warm weather can actually make bad breath worse? This is why summer might require you to take extra care to keep your mouth clean and your breath fresh—especially if you’re undergoing orthodontic treatment with braces. To make sure you and your smile make the best impression, here are our top tips for beating bad breath this summer:
When the temperature is warmer, your mouth dehydrates faster, and bacteria thrive in a dry mouth. That’s why it’s so important to drink plenty of water. Water will prevent dehydration while also flushing away any food particles or debris that may be stuck to your teeth or appliances. Drinking tap water? You’ll also get a fluoridated boost with every sip!
Pack a kit
When in doubt, always pack a travel kit to help keep your teeth clean and your breath fresh. This is especially helpful if you’re out of the house, at a job, or at camp this summer. For a small kit, we recommend packing a toothbrush, mini toothpaste, a travel-size bottle of mouthwash, toothpicks or plastic flossers, and—if you’re not wearing braces—sugar-free gum/mints. Having the right tools can mean the difference between fresh breath and halitosis!
Avoid certain foods
Summer brings with it delicious seasonal treats, but if you have braces, it’s important to be careful with your snack selections. If you choose to enjoy non-braces-friendly foods, they’re more likely to get stuck in your appliances and lead to bad breath. Always avoid sticky, chewy foods. The last thing you’d want is bad breath and a bent wire or broken bracket.
Clean your aligners/retainers
If you’re wearing removable appliances such as aligners or retainers this summer, you should take extra care to keep them fresh and clean. A dry, hot mouth is the perfect environment for bacteria to grow on your appliances, which may make your breath smell worse. Be sure to clean your appliances—not just your teeth!
Watch your sugar intake
There’s nothing wrong with enjoying a popsicle or a summer treat (as long as it’s safe for your appliances)! However, the bacteria that cause bad breath feeds on sugar, which means proper oral hygiene is a must. Brush, floss, and consider rinsing your mouth with a fluoride-based mouthwash after you’re done eating.
At the end of the day, bad breath is preventable, but if it occurs, it’s easy to fix! So go out there, take care of your teeth, and enjoy the summer.
Schedule a free orthodontic consultation at Petty & Bielik Orthodontics in Oak Lawn, IL, today!