Can your morning breath knock your partner out? Do you feel as though a room clears the minute you open your mouth? Everyone experiences bad breath at some point in their life, so you aren’t alone. Experts estimate that approximately 30 percent of the population has chronic bad breath. However, if you notice that your breath is worse after wearing your retainer, chances are your oral appliance is contributing to the bad smell. But have no fear, there are some things you can do to get your breath smelling fresh once again, even while wearing your retainer.
What is Halitosis, or Bad Breath?
While you may feel as though your retainer is responsible for your bad breath, the most common culprit is actually bacteria. While this may come as a surprise, your mouth contains natural bacteria all the time. When you eat, food particles get stuck in between your teeth or on the tooth surface and the bacteria feed on these particles. As they eat, they leave behind a foul-smelling waste that causes bad breath.
In addition to bacteria, other common causes of bad breath include dry mouth, gum disease, smoking, and certain medical conditions such as diabetes, acid reflux, or sinus conditions.How Does My Retainer Contribute to Bad Breath?
So how does your retainer contribute to bad breath? To answer that question, let’s take another look at bacteria. Because you wear your retainer in your mouth, it quickly becomes covered in the same natural bacteria found on the surface of your teeth. While you don’t typically wear your retainer when you eat, food particles can transfer from your teeth to your retainer, feeding the bacteria that are already on your retainer. The retainer adds another surface area where bacteria can thrive, increasing the unpleasant odor that comes out of your mouth. While your retainer doesn’t directly cause bad breath, it can greatly contribute. Especially when you don’t clean it according to recommendations. It’s important to note that with proper care, most retainers will last for 2 years before you need a replacement.
Luckily, there is a way to help reduce the bacteria in your mouth and on your retainer, giving you fresh breath once again!
If bacteria have degraded your retainer, it may be time for a replacement. Visit SportingSmiles today for a high-quality, low-cost replacement retainer.
What Can You Do to Eliminate Bad Breath?
Treating bad breath begins with good oral hygiene. While you may have been taught to brush your teeth at least twice a day, additional brushing after every meal can help to remove food particles that contribute to bad breath. Regular flossing also helps remove those stubborn particles stuck between your teeth. While you may not be able to see those particles, the bacteria in your mouth can!
When you wear a retainer, it is essential that regular retainer cleaning becomes a part of your oral hygiene routine. For a good overview of retainer care, visit our blog post Cleaning Dental Retainers & Invisalign Clear Retainers. Regular brushing is essential to help remove food particles and bacteria but be sure to follow the cleaning recommendations by your dentist or retainer provider.
While you might be tempted to soak your retainer in mouthwash to kill all those germs, mouthwash can also kill your retainer. The alcohol in mouthwash can cause cracking or weak spots. Instead, we at SportingSmiles recommend soaking your retainer in Fresh Guard by Efferdent. This product works specifically for retainers, mouthguards, and clear braces.
It is impossible to avoid bad breath all the time. But taking good care of your teeth and your retainer can help keep your breath smelling fresh. If you haven’t been good at cleaning your retainer, it is possible that the bacteria have degraded the retainer material. Unfortunately, additional cleaning may not be enough to remove the lingering odor. If this is the case, SportingSmiles offers retainers at a fraction of the cost you would pay your dentist. For more information, visit Orthodontic Retainers today.