Your Bod

Braces are giving me bad breath!

I have braces and I brush my teeth every single morning. Already by 1st period my breath smells so bad! I make sure I have gum in my mouth 24/7, but it's still pretty rank. Please help!

Ugh, as if having a mouthful of metal isn’t enough of a hassle! Unfortch, bad breath is a very common problem that comes with having braces.  But here’s the good news: it’s also totally fixable.

The cause
Quite simply, bad breath is caused by bacteria. Those bacteria grow from food particles trapped in your mouth (yeah, kinda gross). With a full set of hardware, it’s super-easy for little pieces of your blueberry pancakes or veggie pizza to get stuck between your brackets and wires – and stay there – leading to yowza breath.

The cure 
It’s totally fab that you’ve kept up your morning brushing routine, but to kill bad breath, you’ve got to brush not only morning and night, but after meals as well. Stash a travel-size toothbrush and toothpaste in your purse or locker so you can brush up after lunch or between classes. If a brush is nowhere in sight, a quick swish-and-spit of water will do.

In addition to brushing, keep up with daily flossing and any specific cleaning techniques your orthodontist asks you to do. You might also want to think of adding an anti-bacterial mouthwash to your daily routine, which can help bust those bad-breath bacteria. Yeah, it’s a lot of work to keep clean while you’re wearin’ braces, but doing so will lead to not only fresh breath, but a healthy and gorge smile when the brackets come off.

We want to hear from you! Send us your weirdest body questions here (seriously, we'll answer anything!) and it just might get featured.


by Marie Hansen | 2/1/2016