Practicing good oral hygiene habits is essential for good oral health. It includes brushing your teeth twice a day, flossing once a day, cleaning your tongue, using a tongue scraper, cleaning your dentures or dental appliances, and avoiding dry mouth. Read on to learn more.
Brush your teeth and tongue twice daily
Remember to brush your teeth at least twice each day with a soft-bristled brush and fluoride toothpaste to remove food debris and plaque from tooth surfaces. You should also floss daily to get in between your teeth and gums where your toothbrush can't reach.
Don't forget to brush your tongue! The tongue is prone to bad breath due to having areas where bacteria can hide. By brushing it when you clean your teeth, you can help remove odor-causing bacteria.
In addition to your twice-daily teeth brushing routine, you should brush after you eat to remove any food that may be lingering in your mouth. If you often snack during the day, keep a travel-size toothbrush with you so you can clean your teeth after lunch or a snack.
Make sure you're using a soft-bristled brush. If it's starting to fray, it's definitely time to buy a new one. Hard-bristled toothbrushes aren't as effective as soft ones at removing cavity-causing plaque. Consider using an electric toothbrush as well. They are better at cleaning your teeth and removing plaque than manual toothbrushes.
Floss at least once a day
Most people brush their teeth twice a day, and that's a great start towards improving your oral health. However, brushing alone won't remove all the food particles from between your teeth. So it's important to floss at least once every day in order to clean those hard-to-reach areas.
Clean your dental appliances
If you wear removable dental appliances like partial or complete dentures, you should remove them at night and clean them thoroughly before you put them back in the next morning. Dentures should also be cleaned regularly by your dental office using professional cleaning tools and solutions.
Avoid dry mouth
Saliva washes away food and neutralizes acids in the mouth that cause bad breath and tooth decay. So, when your mouth is dry, food particles stay behind to rot and cause bad breath. A dry mouth also leads to cavities because saliva helps wash away cavity-causing plaque and food residue. Drinking plenty of water throughout the day and avoiding alcohol can help reduce symptoms of dry mouth. Certain medications can cause dry mouth, so your doctor may be able to switch you to another medication that does not have this side effect. Also, smoking tobacco and using smokeless tobacco products can make dry mouth worse. To treat the underlying cause of bad breath, try drinking more water and eating foods that help moisten the mouth after a meal. You can also ask your dentist about using a saliva substitute to help prevent and treat dry mouth.
Adjust your diet
In addition to brushing and flossing regularly and visiting the dentist for regular checkups, you should also watch what you eat. Certain foods are more likely to cause bad breath, so try to avoid these foods as much as possible to prevent the buildup of odor-causing bacteria in your mouth. Foods that should be avoided include onions, peppers, garlic, coffee, alcohol, cigarettes, spicy foods, and sugary food. You should also avoid consuming too much dairy and limit your consumption of high carbohydrate and high starch foods. These can cause tooth decay and gum disease, which can also cause bad breath.
Schedule regular dental checkups
It's important to maintain a regular schedule of dental visits so that you and your dentist can monitor your oral health. If you've noticed your bad breath is worsening, be sure to notify your dentist at the next visit so they can determine the cause of it. There are many causes of bad breath, so visiting the dentist regularly will help you to avoid common oral problems that can cause bad breath.
Are you struggling with bad breath? Ask our dentist for tips on how to get rid of it for good!