Dry Mouth And Bad Breath With Braces: What's The Cause?

Your mouth is likely to feel a little odd once your new braces are fitted. This makes sense. Each tooth has been fitted with a bracket, which directs pressure onto the tooth to gradually move it into the proper alignment. This pressure comes courtesy of the archwire that was threaded through your brackets and will be periodically tightened by your orthodontist. The physical presence of your braces is a new sensation, and so understandably feels a little odd. You will quickly get used to it. Having said that, there might be some other changes to your mouth that you won't want to get used to.

An Unwanted Development

Braces don't technically cause bad breath, but they can play a role in this unwanted development. There are several key reasons for this. Firstly, those braces in your mouth mean you'll need to pay extra attention to your oral hygiene. Your braces have created multiple new surfaces and crevices in your mouth where food can become trapped.

The Best Tools

You should upgrade your toothbrush. Ask your orthodontist for their recommendation, but you'll benefit from an electric toothbrush with soft bristles. The oscillations of the brush head will be far more efficient at removing food debris than a manual toothbrush. You'll also need an interdental cleaning tool to clean both between your teeth and around your brackets. Dental floss can be a little awkward to use with braces. Interdental brushes or a water flosser (using jets of water to clean those hard-to-reach places) are better choices.

Mouth Breathing

Bad breath with braces isn't exclusively caused by trapped food. Your braces can cause some changes in how you breathe. You might find that you're breathing more via your mouth, instead of through both your mouth and nose. This is simply part of adjusting to life with braces. However, mouth breathing tends to dry the mouth out, leading to reduced levels of saliva. Saliva helps to neutralize the acids created by the oral bacteria in your mouth. As your mouth dries out, the smell of your breath will worsen.

Saliva Production

You can offset this reduced saliva production by drinking more water. Staying hydrated becomes even more important when you have braces. It's just a matter of forming the habit and sticking with it. It's not only beneficial for your breath, but for the health of your teeth and the ultimate success of your braces treatment.

You won't automatically develop a dry mouth and bad breath when you have braces, but it's a common issue. Happily, it's only a serious issue if you don't manage the problem—and it's incredibly simple to manage if you form the right habits.

For more information about braces, contact a local office, like Monacell Orthodontics.