Do Aligners and Braces Cause Bad Breath?

bad breath due to aligners and braces

For those receiving orthodontic care with braces or clear aligners, bad breath is a common issue. When you don't maintain proper oral hygiene while wearing your devices, extra bacteria accumulate in your mouth and cause foul-smelling exhalations. If you let this continue for too long, it could worsen the issue and lead to gum disease. In this blog post, we’ll examine in detail about bad breath caused by braces or aligners.

Do Braces and Aligners Affect Breath?

An accumulation of germs in the mouth is the source of bad breath unless you have an injury to your teeth, gums, or mouth that is healing. You have a good chance of never developing bad breath if you can maintain good oral hygiene. Regretfully, wearing braces or aligners might occasionally encourage the growth of oral germs.

Compared to braces, some research indicates the likelihood of poor breath is marginally lower with dental . Nonetheless, compared to the general population, patients undergoing both types of orthodontics are more likely to have poor breath.

bad breath due to braces and aligners
Woman covering her nose and showing bad breath due to braces and aligners

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Why Does This Occur?

Both kinds of orthodontics can make brushing and flossing uncomfortable or challenging because they remain in your mouth all day. As you know, braces are not removable, have many sharp angles and corners that are hard to clean, and have an unusual design, they can be particularly problematic. These items provide the ideal hiding and growing grounds for oral bacteria.

The appliances' spider-web-like structure makes them prone to catching food and drink particles that are difficult to remove with regular brushing, flossing, and rinsing. Food tends to get trapped in the brackets of wire braces. These food particles are eventually broken down into sugars by saliva, and the bacteria in your mouth are fed by those sugars. They have an abundance of energy as a result, which increases the likelihood of bad breath

bad breath caused by swollen gums
Women have bad breath caused by swollen gums

Advice for Braces or Aligners users to Avoid Bad Breath

Orthodontists have authorized simple techniques to take care of your oral hygiene throughout orthodontic treatment if you're having trouble keeping your breath fresh, or at least less visible.

  • Brush as frequently as you can

    The answer to this straightforward issue is to remove such particles from your mouth as soon as possible.

    While people without braces can typically get away with brushing their teeth twice a day, wearing braces makes it impossible to do so. Individuals with braces or aligners should clean their teeth as soon as they wake up, as soon as they go to bed, and ideally right away after every snack and meal.

  • Floss Every day

    Flossing at least once a day can also assist remove small food particles from areas of the gum line that your toothbrush cannot reach and from in between your teeth.

    Additionally, it aids in the prevention of illnesses like gum disease, which can cause foul breath. With traditional braces, flossing might be challenging, but don't worry—we've got you covered with this helpful guide.

  • Use dental brushes

    Small interdental brushes, commonly called Christmas tree brushes, can be an easy and efficient technique to clean between teeth and around braces and wires because many patients find flossing difficult.

  • Drink Plenty of Water

    Staying hydrated is not the only way that drinking lots of water can help avoid foul breath. Try to drink lots of water throughout the day as it helps to rinse food particles and bacteria from the teeth and cleans the mouth.

  • Watch your diet

    The food and beverages that people consume also contribute to the problem of foul breath in many people. For a few hours after consumption, foods like onions, garlic, and sugary sweets might cause your breath to smell bad.

How to Maintain Aligners and Braces

The fact that clear aligners are simple to maintain is one of their main benefits. Simply remove your aligner from your mouth, give it a thorough rinse under running water, and scrub it down with antibacterial soap.

Brace cleaning is a little more challenging. While it's not likely, it is feasible to remove the plaque from braces with conventional toothbrushing techniques. Take a bit longer to brush at night to ensure the job is done correctly. Even though it can be difficult, you should make sure to floss regularly when wearing braces.

For additional information, give us a call at (888) 861-1884

Braces or clear aligner treatment is a great approach to achieving the smile of your dreams. You can maintain a beautiful smile during your treatment by taking good care of your teeth and aligners.


1. How can I avoid having foul breath when wearing braces or aligners?

Keep your aligners clean regularly, brush and floss after meals, and think about using an antibacterial mouthwash.

2. When wearing braces or aligners, when should I get professional help if my breath is persistently foul?

A dentist or orthodontist should be seen if poor breath continues despite following proper oral hygiene procedures to rule out any underlying problems like decay or infection.

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