Good oral hygiene isn't just about a bright, beautiful smile. It also impacts your oral health, breath, overall health, and well-being. Here are a few tips for maintaining your oral health and improving your breath.
Brushing your teeth
You should brush your teeth at least two times a day. Use a soft-bristled brush and toothpaste that contains fluoride to protect teeth from decay. If plaque remains on your teeth for more than two or three days, it hardens into tartar that brushing alone can't remove. Bacteria feed on this buildup and produce the sulfur compounds that cause bad breath. So, never skip brushing twice a day.
Food particles and bacteria can accumulate around the teeth and on the tongue to cause bad breath. While brushing removes plaque and food debris from the surface of teeth, it cannot reach into spaces between the teeth where a toothbrush cannot reach. This is why flossing is equally important to brushing in the fight against periodontal disease and cavities.
Brushing your tongue
One of the most important ways to get rid of bad breath is to regularly clean your tongue and teeth. The tongue is the prime cause of bad odors in the mouth due to its warm, moist surface that can easily trap food particles. When these food particles are left on the tongue, they can break down into acids which irritate the tongue and cause foul odors.
The best way to remove bacteria and food debris from your mouth is to use an ADA-approved antimicrobial mouthwash. This can kill the bacteria that cause mouth odor and clean your entire mouth. In addition to brushing and flossing, make sure to brush your tongue. Bacteria love to colonize on the rough surface of the tongue, so cleaning with a normal toothbrush may not reach the bacteria on all the edges. That is why dentists recommend the use of a tongue scraper.
Cleaning your dentures or dental appliances
Dentures should also be cleaned daily to avoid bad breath and plaque buildup. Use the brush on your denture cleaner to gently clean your appliances. If you have an overdenture, the patient's dentist may prescribe a special cleaning solution for your prosthetic teeth. Some patients may need to have their overdentures professionally cleaned by a dentist at a dental office. If your denture or dental appliance is worn or damaged, your dentist may suggest a new pair. In some cases, dentists can provide same-day replacements.
Avoiding dry mouth
When your mouth is dry, it can become a perfect breeding ground for bacteria that cause bad breath. Be sure to drink plenty of water and chew sugarless gum to stimulate saliva production. Other tips include limiting alcohol and caffeine intake and quitting smoking.
Adjusting your diet
Changing your eating habits can help get rid of bad breath caused by certain foods and drinks, such as garlic and onions. Minimize your intake of alcohol, coffee, and tobacco – these substances are known to cause bad breath. Drinking plenty of water is also important for a healthy mouth and fresh breath. Water cleanses the mouth by flushing away food particles and bacteria from the mouth that can cause bad breath.
Regularly getting a new toothbrush
A general rule of thumb is to replace your toothbrush every three months. This is to ensure that the bristles of your toothbrush are strong enough to remove plaque that causes bad breath. Consider storing your old toothbrushes upright and covered in order to prevent the growth of bacteria on the brush head.
Scheduling regular dental checkups
Having regular dental checkups is essential to your oral health and the prevention of bad breath. During your checkup, your dentist will check for cavities and examine your gums, teeth, tongue, cheeks, throat, and other soft tissues of your mouth. They will clean your teeth and apply fluoride to help protect against tooth decay. Your diet and lifestyle will be discussed, and how they affect your breath and overall oral health. Your dentist will give you personalized oral hygiene instructions to help you maintain a bright smile and fresh breath. They will also recommend products that can help you achieve and maintain optimal oral health in-between visits.
Please reach out to our dental practice from your nearest location to have a consultation with our dentist. You can call us or schedule an online consultation, and we'll guide you further.