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Getting braces can be an exciting change for many, as it helps them achieve their dream smiles. When you are considering this treatment, you may have different questions in your mind. One frequent question orthodontists receive is, ‘Do braces cause bad breath?’. The truth is that braces themselves don’t affect your breath quality but may contribute to factors that cause an unpleasant odor. Read further to know how to prevent this issue while undergoing orthodontic treatment.

Causes of Bad Breath with Braces

Halitosis, commonly known as bad breath, is a common issue that can occur normally. Typically, it resolves after brushing or flossing, but certain factors may cause persistent bad breath, even in the presence of braces.


When we eat food, some particles remain entrapped between our teeth. It happens more often with braces since food traps between the metal wires and brackets. When bacteria break down these particles, they release unpleasant odors that can affect your breath quality.

Eating pungent foods like garlic or onion can also contribute to halitosis. If food remains trapped in your mouth for a long time, it can cause stinky breath, which may affect your social interactions.

Tobacco Products

Smoking or frequent use of tobacco-containing products can affect your breath quality. These irritants also impact your gum health and cause dry mouth, which may contribute to bad breath. If you wear braces and have a habit of smoking, you are at a greater risk of developing gum disease, halitosis, and tooth discoloration.

Poor Oral Hygiene

Plaque accumulates on our teeth on a daily basis. If we do not clean it with brushing and flossing, it can harden to form tartar. Keep in mind that plaque releases toxins that may cause your breath to stink.

Moreover, plaque also forms on the tongue surface. Lack of proper oral care not only causes bad breath but can also lead to other complications, such as cavities and periodontal disease. The risk can become higher among those who wear braces.

Tips To Prevent Bad Breath With Braces

The good news is that there are many ways to help you prevent bad breath with braces. Here is a list of preventive tips you can add to your oral care routine:

  • Rinse your mouth thoroughly after every meal. This removes pieces of food trapped between your teeth and braces.
  • Brush two times a day to keep your mouth fresh. It is best to use a soft toothbrush to avoid gum irritation.
  • Floss gently between your teeth once or twice a day to remove food particles and plaque.
  • Remember to clean your tongue as well, as most oral bacteria reside there.
  • Use a mouthwash that contains mint or other ingredients to improve your breath quality.
  • You can also chew breath mints or xylitol gums to keep your breath fresh.
  • Follow routine appointments with your orthodontist to avoid factors that may cause bad breath.


As stated earlier, braces themselves are not the main culprit but may contribute to factors that cause bad breath. If you want to get a personalized oral care routine, consult Dr. Bar Nguyen at Adventure Orthodontics. Reach out to our team today at (281) 353-5556 for an appointment.

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