The dreaded “stinky breath” can be the result of many different causes, including tooth decay, gum infections, and gastrointestinal problems, among others.

But the unifying feature of all of these conditions is the growing presence of bacteria. And we all know that braces make the process of cleaning your teeth significantly harder.

So, Do Braces Make Your Breath Stink?

Wearing braces can cause your breath to stink. This embarrassing odor is entirely preventable and avoidable. If you have braces, you must relearn how to clean your teeth.

Cleaning regularly and thoroughly will help you combat the increased bacterial growth that is so commonly seen after the installation of braces and, thus, improve the quality of your breath.

Causes Of Bad Breath When You Wear Braces

When you have braces, incorrectly using your toothbrush is one of the leading causes of foul-smelling breath.

This means that re-learning to thoroughly brush and floss your teeth around each brace, making sure to go over every bracket, hook, and wire, and removing any trapped bits of food particles, will be essential to get rid of bad breath.

If you suffer from gingivitis due to the accumulation of plaque, wearing braces will only make your gum inflammation worse.

Dental plaque, consisting mostly of bacteria and fungi growths, is another common reason for your braces to make your breath stink.

Braces often make your mouth feel dryer than normal. This happens because the presence of braces causes your salivary glands to produce less saliva than normal. When this happens, dead cells from your tongue and gums begin to accumulate and produce a foul smell.

How To Get Rid Of Stinky Breath Caused By Braces

We’ve already established that practicing proper hygiene will be extremely important when you wear braces. Here are some common tips and tricks you can follow to ensure your braces remain clean and your breath fresh.

A Dentist can help with odor caused by braces


Flossing is one of the most effective ways to remove decomposing food debris that accumulates between your teeth and around the brackets, hooks, and wires of your braces.

I recommend that you use a floss threader, to make sure that you reach even the hardest-to-reach spots where food debris might be missed.

Clean Your Tongue

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A lot of people are surprised to learn that a large portion of the stinky bacteria behind bad breath is harbored on the surface of their tongues. So, if you get into a routine of deep-cleaning your tongue, you will notice an immediate improvement in your stinky breath.

While I use my toothbrush to clean my tongue in a pinch, a dedicated tongue scraper like this one on Amazon is a must if you suffer from bad breath. Tongue scrapers are cheap and easy to use. As long as you keep them clean and dry when not in use, these stainless steel ones should last you a lifetime.

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Use Mouthwash

Using mouthwash regularly when you have braces is perfectly safe, and one of the best tools you can rely on when fighting bad breath.

Mouthwash, especially antibacterial mouthwash, is very effective at removing bad-breath-causing bacteria.

Get in the habit of always carrying a small bottle of mouthwash with you at all times, and rinse with a small amount a few times a day to keep your mouth a fresh and stinky breath away.

Hydrate Your Mouth

Drinking plenty of water throughout your day will naturally hydrate your mouth and counteract the drying effects of your braces. You can also try sugar-free chewing gum to stimulate natural saliva production.

Avoid Certain Foods

Certain foods and drinks can promote the production of stinky bacteria by throwing your mouth’s pH balance off-kilter. So, avoid drinks like coffee and alcohol, and eating foods such as onions, garlic, pasta sauce, canned tuna, and horseradish, among others.

Additionally, you will want to avoid smoking tobacco products. The extra surface area created by your braces will create more places for smoky, tarry, and stinky tobacco residue to build up inside your mouth.

Visit Your Dentist

Make appointments to your visit your dentist regularly to keep your oral health in good condition. Your dentist will be able to diagnose and treat any potential periodontal disease that may be related to your stinky breath.

Last update on 2024-04-03 at 05:03 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API