Bad Breath? Keeping Your Retainer Clean?

Does your breath stink? Do you know if your breath stinks? What causes it? What can be done about it?

Here at our practice we often get questions about bad breath. Sometimes the questions come from a long-suffering friend or family member of somebody else with bad breath.

Besides A dirty retainer, there are lots of bad breath causes (often called “halitosis”)

Halitosis can be caused by a number of things—some more serious than others. Here are the most common causes:

1. Things you eat, like garlic and onions

Foods like garlic and onions contain oils that transfer through your bloodstream into your lungs, causing odor to be emitted each time you exhale.

2. Things you don’t eat and a dry mouth

Diet can trigger different chemical processes that can make you more susceptible to bad breath. Also, not eating slows down saliva production, decreasing your mouth’s ability to clean away bacterial build-up. That’s why “morning breath” is unpleasant. Also, certain prescription medications can cause dry mouth.

3. The way you feel

Sometimes a cold or sore throat can be the culprit with odors coming directly from the bacteria or mucus trapped in your mouth or sinus area. Typically, these problems won’t go away until the symptoms causing them are gone.

4. Things that May be more serious

More serious causes include things like gum disease, kidney problems, diabetes, oral cancer, anorexia/bulimia and others. That’s why it’s so important to contact us, or your general dentist, about chronic bad breath problems that you just can’t seem to solve.

Things You Can Do That Help

Remember, chronic or extreme bad breath is not normal. If you have any questions about causes, symptoms, or remedies talk with our team.

  1. If you wear a retainer, or any other orthodontic appliance, clean it thoroughly.
  2. We know it’s hard with braces, but practice good oral hygiene! You know—brush and floss!
  3. Gently brush your tongue.
  4. Use an antibacterial mouthwash regularly.
  5. Eat healthy, drink enough water, and don’t smoke.
  6. Occasionally suck on a sugarless mint.
  7. Don’t miss or postpone your appointments with us, or your checkups with your dentist.

A little fun with “a new sense of daintiness”

Contrary to the popular legend that Listerine coined the term “halitosis”, it actually dates back to the 1870’s. However, Listerine made the term commonplace by using it in many of their ad campaigns. Halitosis combines the Latin “halitus”, meaning “breath”, with the Greek suffix “osis” used to describe a medical condition.

Thank your for being our valued patient.

We sincerely appreciate the trust you place in our orthodontic practice! And thanks for your kind referrals of friends, family members, and coworkers. Leave us a comment below or send us a direct message on our Facebook page!