WE ALL KNOW THAT FEELING… you wake up in the morning to sun shining, birds chirping and happily lean over to your significant other to say hello! Instead you are greeted by the horrible smell of morning breath. Or maybe you run into friends after work and suddenly become conscious of that bad taste in your mouth.
We've had lots of questions about it recently (mostly from mother's of teenage boys). But I want you to know that we’ve all been there! Unfortunately, bouts of halitosis, or bad breath, are pretty much inevitable. Today we’re going to explain why that is, what causes that nasty smell and what you can do to keep bad breath at bay!
It All Starts With Bacteria
We’re not the only ones who need to eat to stay alive, so do the bacteria living in our mouths. When they snack on whatever’s left behind from our last meal, they release foul-smelling odors as a by-product, causing bad breath.
What you can do: Clean your teeth after every meal by brushing and flossing. This will eliminate food debris and bacteria from your mouth and prevent bad breath. Braces can trap a lot of food in them, so you may be more susceptible to bad breath during orthodontic treatment if you don’t clean your teeth frequently and properly. A clean mouth, is a fresh mouth!
Choose Breath-Friendly Foods And Beverages
Keep in mind that certain foods and beverages can make bad breath more likely, such as sugary foods and drinks, garlic, onions, coffee, and alcohol.
What you can do: Choose breath-friendly foods and beverages! Water washes away food debris and increases saliva flow in your mouth, protecting your teeth and mouth from bacteria. Healthy food choices such as carrots, celery and apples are high in water content and actually work as a natural toothbrush, scrubbing plaque bacteria from the surfaces of your teeth. Remember to cut these foods up into smaller pieces so as not to risk breaking any of your brackets!
Good Oral Hygiene Can Reduce Morning Breath
Morning breath seems to be an especially pungent offender. Why is this? It’s mainly because of dry mouth. During the day, saliva works to wash away food debris and keep bacteria in check. When we sleep at night, however, our saliva production goes down, causing our mouths to become dry and allowing bacteria to proliferate. If you sleep with your mouth open, it can be even worse.
What you can do: To make your morning breath less offensive, follow a good oral hygiene regimen. By brushing and flossing your teeth before bed, you’re giving bacteria less food to munch on, which will help your breath be better in the morning.
In addition, we highly recommend cleaning your tongue by either brushing it or using a tongue scraper, since this is where most bad breath-causing bacteria are found. Another tip is to keep water by your bedside. When you wake up at night, take a drink! Keeping your mouth moist will combat the spread of those smelly bacteria.
We’re Here For You
For the most part, bad breath is manageable. If you feel like your halitosis is severe however, especially if you follow the steps above, it can be a sign of something more serious such as gum disease, diabetes, sinus problems, gastric reflux or liver or kidney disease. If this is the case, we may refer you to a health care provider. If you have any more questions, let us know. We are here to serve you!
The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.
Our patients’ smiles make it all worthwhile! We are proud to serve the Snoqualmie Valley!