Good oral health starts at home. Here are a few tips you can follow at your home to maintain good oral health and prevent bad breath.
Brush your teeth twice daily
A great way to get rid of bad breath is by brushing your teeth twice a day. However, you should brush for at least two minutes each time. That's because bacteria can hide in between teeth, where it can multiply and result in tooth decay and gum disease.
Since brushing removes plaque from your teeth, it helps prevent bad breath and gum diseases like gingivitis and periodontitis from being a problem. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush that is ADA-approved. The bristles of your toothbrush should be spaced out enough so that the tips of the bristles reach just past the gum line.
Floss at least once a day
Flossing removes plaque and food particles from between the teeth and along the gumline that your toothbrush cannot reach. If left in the mouth, that bacteria can cause bad breath and gum disease. So brush twice a day and floss at least once daily! There are many different types of floss to choose from, including waxed, unwaxed, flavored, textured, etc. Find the one that works best for you!
Brush your tongue
The tongue harbors bad odor-causing bacteria. So, it's best to clean your tongue when you brush your teeth. You should also scrape your tongue with a tongue scraper every time you brush to prevent bad breath.
Clean dentures or dental appliances
The best way to clean your dentures is with a denture brush. Each day when you remove your dentures, clean them thoroughly using a denture cleanser to remove food debris and plaque. When you are not wearing your dentures, soak them in a cleaning solution overnight to protect them from stains and bacteria. Most dentists recommend soaking your dentures in water or a cleansing solution every night. This will prevent your dentures from becoming stained, and it will be easier for you to clean them in the morning before you wear them again.
Avoid dry mouth
A dry mouth is the absence of enough saliva. Saliva contains compounds that kill bacteria and wash away food particles and other debris in the mouth. When there isn't enough saliva, bacteria thrive, which can lead to bad breath. The condition can be caused by salivary gland problems, taking certain medications, or having certain types of illnesses. Drinking lots of water and increasing the number of healthy foods in your diet can help to treat and prevent dry mouth. If you suffer from chronic dry mouth, talk to your dentist about possible treatments.
Adjust your diet
The most common cause of bad breath is bacteria in the mouth. The food you eat provides fuel for the mouth bacteria. The foods that can cause bad breath include foods that are spicy, high in grains like bread and pasta, and foods that have high sugar content. Foods like these can be broken down by bacteria in the mouth and create foul-smelling gases that smell up the mouth. You can prevent these causes by adjusting your diet to include more fresh foods and water and fewer sugary drinks and processed foods.
Regularly get a new toothbrush
Do not use the same toothbrush for more than four months. When you brush your teeth with a worn-down brush, it can irritate your gum tissue and cause bleeding. When looking for a new toothbrush, consider choosing one with a small head that can easily reach all areas of the mouth and clean hard-to-reach spaces. Also, look for a toothbrush with gentle bristles to avoid irritation to your teeth and gums. Finally, be sure your toothbrush has the ADA Seal of Acceptance for fighting plaque and gingivitis. You should also replace your toothbrush after an illness to prevent germs from infecting your mouth.
Schedule regular dental checkups
Seeing your dentist every six months for preventive dental care is the best way to avoid bad breath, tooth decay, and gum disease. Regular cleanings remove plaque buildup, reducing your risk of cavities and gum disease. Your dentist also checks your teeth and gums for any areas of decay that need treatment and can recommend the best way to protect your oral health moving forward. During these visits, you can also obtain professional teeth whitening treatments to keep your smile bright and white year-round.
If you haven't seen your dentist recently, or if you wish to learn more about our dental services, call us at (832) 532-7120 and schedule an appointment with us.