Adult braces and bad breath
May 1, 2016 7:34 PM   Subscribe

Did you experience a worsened case of bad breath when you got braces (as an adult)?

I already have major problems with halitosis. It's been a problem for years. Nothing has worked but what helps a tiny bit is vigilant flossing and swishing with a saline solution (along with other regular brushing, etc.) My question is specifically about how getting adult braces will make my breath even more difficult to maintain. General info regarding maintenance of breath health is also welcomed.

Will my breath suffer worse for having braces? What advice do you wish you'd been given about breath maintenance when you wore braces?
posted by RaRa-SpaceRobot to Health & Fitness (6 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I can't speak to braces, but it might help to figure out and address the cause of the halitosis before the braces, because having food caught in them will probably make it worse.

Do you perhaps have tonsil stones? Once in a while they probably dislodge by themselves when you cough- have you ever found a small grain in your mouth that's yellowy-white, about the size of a sesame seed, soft in texture, and smells terrible? They cause bad breath and a bad taste in your mouth, but they're not that hard to remove (you have to get used to it because it'll trigger your gag reflex at first). You can try with a finger, cotton swab, blunt end of a pen, loop of a paper clip taped onto a pen, or a specialized tool.

Tongue gunk smells bad, so scraping your tongue also helps a lot with breath. I like this shape of tool and it's under $2. There are lots of options if that one doesn't float your boat.

And drink tons of water, which will keep flushing your mouth clean. Fresh crunchy veggies help too (carrots are "nature's toothbrush").
posted by pseudostrabismus at 7:49 PM on May 1, 2016 [1 favorite]

I had braces as an adult, and it didn't affect the smell of my breath one way or the other (normally I very rarely have issues with bad breath). I did temporarily have unpleasant side effects after the braces first went on - mainly, a white-ish tongue. That went away after a few days, presumably because my mouth had adjusted to the new situation. I mention this because, even if perchance you did find yourself with worse breath after you get your braces, don't stress out right away; it might just get better after a bit.
posted by Mechitar at 9:09 PM on May 1, 2016

I had a sudden attack of bad breath after starting Invisalign because the trays gave me a massive case of dry mouth. In addition to upping my water intake, I started using Biotene spray inbetween brushing.
posted by jamaro at 10:43 PM on May 1, 2016

When I got braces and couldn't floss, a Water Pik handled the potential breath problem nicely. It gets all the bits, with a nice gum massage to boot.
posted by Short Attention Sp at 5:10 AM on May 2, 2016

Daily use of Water Pin at every brush time is the traditional way to limit bad breath with braces.
posted by quince at 7:58 AM on May 2, 2016

Also recommending a Water Pik. There are a million new places for food particles to hang out and get icky, even if you don't see or feel it.
posted by PJMoore at 8:29 AM on May 2, 2016

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