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January 7, 2020

Can Flossing Help Prevent Bad Breath?

Concerned man with bad breath needs to practice more flossingNo one’s breath smells its best first thing in the morning or after eating garlic, but a full day of stinky mouth odors is something else. Chronic bad breath, also known as halitosis, can cause you to shy away from social occasions, cover your mouth as you speak, and feel less confident about yourself. In some cases, it may be an early warning sign of an underlying health concern. Thankfully, simply flossing more often can prevent and treat most cases of halitosis! Here’s what your Allentown dentist wants you to know about this simple yet effective way to keep your breath fresh.

What Causes Bad Breath?

Unfortunately, there are numerous factors that can cause bad breath, including:

  • Eating fragrant foods like garlic and onions.
  • Poor oral hygiene and a buildup of plaque.
  • Tooth decay, gum disease, and oral infection.
  • Medications or health conditions that cause dry mouth.
  • Systemic health concerns like diabetes, acid reflux, or liver disease.

How Does Flossing Prevent Bad Breath?

If plaque is allowed to accumulate in your mouth, the bacteria it contains will start to release sulfur compounds and other stinky gases. These bacteria will also break down any leftover food particles stuck between your teeth, which will contribute to the smell.

To keep your breath fresh, the plaque and bacteria need to be removed regularly. While brushing twice a day for two minutes is an important part of a great dental routine, it’s not enough on its own. The bristles of your toothbrush can’t clear away the stinky particles that are hiding between your teeth or just underneath your gumline. Flossing regularly is the only way to clean out these hard to reach places and keep your breath smelling fresh.

Easy Tips for Proper Flossing

Even though it’s a crucial part of taking care of our oral health, flossing is not a popular pastime. Here are some tips for making this part of your dental care routine an effective habit:

  • Try using floss that is waxed or flavored.
  • Keep the container somewhere you’ll see it every time you brush your teeth.
  • Use 18 inches of floss at a time, wrapped carefully around your middle fingers.
  • Gently slide the floss between each tooth and just past the gumline.
  • Use an American Dental Association approved interdental brush or threaded flosser if you find floss difficult to work with

Remember, bad breath can sometimes be an early warning sign of an underlying health concern, so see your dentist regularly for checkups as well. With a professional cleaning every six months and regular flossing, you can keep your smile healthy and fresh!

About the Author

Whether you’re dealing with an uncomfortable symptom like bad breath or a larger oral health issue, Bradford Young Family & Cosmetic Dentistry is here to help. With regular dental checkups and cleanings every six months, Dr. Bradford Young and his team can help you combat your halitosis and keep your smile looking and feeling its best. If you have more questions about treating your bad breath, feel free to reach them via their website or at  (610) 439-1363.

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