Top Foods that Contribute to Bad Breath and What to Do About It

Suffering from bad breath? You may want to take a look at what you eat. Even if you have good dental hygiene, brush twice a day and floss once a day, you can still suffer from bad breath, and it could be a result of your diet.

What Causes Bad Breath?

The most common cause of bad breath, also called halitosis, is bacteria. Bacteria form from the residual food and dead cells left in the mouth after eating a meal. Brushing and flossing are very important and removing residual food particles and dead cells. It is also important to clean the tongue, as it is often overlooked when brushing and can contain contribute to bad breath.

Some foods, like coffee and garlic, can make your breath smell for hours due to the ingredients and compounds in them.

  • Garlic and onions – Garlic and onions top the list of foods that cause bad breath. The smelly sulfur compounds in both onions and garlic are absorbed into the bloodstream and are expelled when you exhale, causing bad breath.
  • Coffee and alcohol – Coffee and alcoholic drinks encourage oral bacteria growth, which can lead to bad breath. They can also dry out your mouth, reducing saliva creation. Less saliva means the smell-causing bacteria can live longer in your mouth.

There are some foods you can try to improve the smell of your breath, like water and gum.

  • Water – Water helps flush the mouth to free lodged food and encourage the production of saliva. Saliva helps to cleanse the mouth of bacteria.
  • Sugarless gum – Chewing gum can loosen the food stuck in teeth and gums, and promote the production of saliva. In addition, sugar-free gum has a sweetener called xylitol, which is effective for inhibiting bacteria.

Possible Medical Conditions Causing Bad Breath

If you have improved your dental hygiene and diet, and still suffer from halitosis, it may be time to consult a doctor or dentist. Common health issues that cause halitosis include periodontal disease, xerostomia, and ketoacidosis.

  • Periodontal disease is a serious inflammation of the gums that can cause tooth and bone damage and causes bad breath.
  • Xerostomia is a condition of dry mouth resulting from reduced or absent saliva flow.
  • Diabetic ketoacidosis is a buildup of acids in your blood caused by high blood sugar levels. These high blood sugar levels can cause a fruity breath smell.

Wright Orthodontics encourages patients in the Atlanta and Marietta areas to contact us with any questions or concerns about dental hygiene.

Caring For Your Smile After Invisalign® Treatment

Invisalign® in Atlanta and Marietta, GAAn Invisalign® treatment is a lifelong investment and should be cared for and protected as such. Caring for your retainer, brushing and flossing, as well as scheduling regular appointments with your dentist or orthodontist can help prolong your results and keep your smile bright.

Proper Retainer Care

Unfortunately, tending to your smile doesn’t end when your Invisalign® treatment is over. Wearing a retainer is imperative to maintaining your new and improved smile. You retainer keeps your teeth in place, but only if they are worn as frequently as instructed. Failure to wear a retainer means there is nothing to prevent your teeth from shifting back into their original position. In fact, it is this mistake that leads many people to seek Invisalign® treatment in the first place.

Many of our Invisalign® patients have had braces in the past, usually during adolescence, and neglected to wear their retainers, which allowed their teeth to shift back to their original positions, disrupting their smile. Invisalign® retainers are very similar to the aligners you wore during treatment and are typically only to be worn at night.

Since your retainer is such an important part of maintaining your smile, it should be cared for properly:

  • Replace your retainer every year. Retainers do more than holding your teeth in place. They protect your teeth from damage due to common issues like nighttime teeth grinding. For this reason, they do wear and should be replaced by your dentist every nine months to a year.
  • Clean your retainer every night. We recommend that you avoid cleaning your retainer with toothpaste, as toothpaste contains abrasives that could dull its finish and lead to a buildup of bacteria. The easiest way to clean a retainer is to purchase drop-in They are several brands that are made just for cleaning dental devices.

Brushing and Flossing

Brushing and flossing are essential to keeping your teeth healthy. After an Invisalign® treatment, your gums will be more sensitive for a week or two. At this point in the treatment process your teeth have been protected by Invisalign® aligner trays for quite some time and may be sensitive to certain foods, food temperatures, and brushing and flossing.

When brushing and flossing during this period be sure to take extra care and avoid damage to your teeth and gums.

Regular Check-Ups

Regular dental checkups are important for everyone, but especially for Invisalign® patients. During these checkups, your dentist will inspect your smile to see that your teeth are staying put. If needed your dentist or orthodontist can make adjustments to your retainers. You will also receive replacement retainers at these appointments if your retainers begin to wear.

Wright Orthodontics encourages our patients in both Atlanta and Marietta, GA to stay on top of their post Invisalign® regimen to maintain their healthy new smile. Feel free to contact us with any questions or to schedule a checkup.