Do you find yourself feeling self-conscious about bad breath? Has wearing a facemask revealed some hard truths? We might have something to help…
We’ve teamed up with trending floss brand Cocofloss to bring you some expert tips on oral hygiene and bad breath. Cocofloss is the genius brand that has managed to make flossing actually enjoyable with its dentist-designed flavoured floss. Yep, flavoured. Ever imagined you’d be flossing with dark chocolate floss? Your time has come.
So, to find out why flossing is so important (and to suss out how it can help prevent foul breath), Stephen R. John, DDS and Cheryl Calmis, RDH, BS have come to our rescue to answer all our questions…
Plenty of things can lead to bad breath, from chronic dry mouth to copious amounts of garlic. But the condition is often linked to poor removal of dental plaque. Plaque bacteria are microscopic organisms that live on and between the teeth, as well as on the surface of the tongue. These bacteria digest food particles and residual sugars in the mouth, then they release foul-smelling gases. If that all sounds a bit gross, it’s nothing compared to another common cause of bad breath: Rotting food between the teeth.
Most people hear this and think “Yuck! That will never happen to me” but you would be surprised how many times a patient walks into our office completely unaware that they have bad breath. It’s nothing to be ashamed of, but it is one more reason why good oral hygiene is so important. It’s worth noting that bad breath and bleeding gums are one of the early signs of gums disease.
Prevention starts with good habits: brushing with toothpaste at least twice a day and cleaning the spaces between your teeth daily. Eating healthy foods such as carrots, apples, and celery can also help. These fruits and veggies require extra chewing, which stimulates saliva production and helps wash away food particles. Chewing sugar-free gum or mints can also help increase saliva flow, making it a great stop-gap measure until you can find time to brush and floss.
There are plenty of devices designed to remove plaque bacteria and food particles between the teeth, including dental floss, toothpicks, interdental brushes, and water picks. People constantly ask us, “Which tool should I use?” The simple answer: All of them! A dental professional can help you decide which device or combination of devices is best for you.
Regular oral check-ups and cleanings are also an important part of preventing bad breath, so see your dentist at least twice a year. If you’re concerned about the source of your bad breath, your dentist and dental hygienist should be able to detect and treat any gum problems before they become more serious.