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22 years
Why does breath smell worse ever since I got braces on?
Dec 3, 2014

Dr. Zakia Dimassi Pediatrics
First you need to understand the underlying process that eventually produces bad breath itself. Bad breath, medical term halitosis, results from the bacteria that naturally inhabit the mouth. These bacteria, which can also causes dental cavities and gum disease, feed on residual food particles in the mouth. The results of this process of feeding is the release of bad odors most associated with bad breath.
Wearing braces can contribute to causing or worsening bad breath, or making a person's breath more noticeable. But the braces themselves are not the direct cause of the bad breath. What happens is that when braces are in place, the likelihood of having food particles getting stuck in or on the brackets and wires is significantly higher. This means more food for the oral bacteria to feed on, and the more food particles that are in the mouth, the more likely it is that bad breath will occur.
Prevention of Bad Breath: to prevent or minimize bad breath, the following steps are useful practices:
1- Brush your teeth after every meal - While brushing your teeth twice a day is good, brushing after every meal will remove all food particles from the mouth and on the braces. Use the special orthodontic brushes to thoroughly clean the braces and brackets.
2- Floss after every meal - Flossing every time after you eat is a sure way to remove food particles and avoid bad breath.
3- Drink water during and between meals - this aids in removal of food particles in the mouth. In addition, the hydration helps prevent dry mouth, which can exacerbate issues with bad breath.
4- Consider a tongue scraper - Bacteria can sit on the tongue and consume food particles. Brushing the tongue can help, but use of a tongue scraper is more efficient.