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  • Writer's pictureUlrich Orthodontics

Are you experiencing mask breath?

Masks, and ot her face coverings seem like they're not going away anytime soon. Their presences is necessary during this unprecedented time. But with more mask wearing out in public and when social distancing is not possible, we may be learning some new things about ourselves - like how bad our breath really is up close!

So here are some reasons you might have bad breath:

  1. Diet - Poor diet can lead to bad breath. If you consume a lot of sugar, spicy foods, onion, garlic or coffee, you will need to increase your oral hygiene practices prior to wearing a mask.

  2. Poor dental hygiene practices - not brushing often or well enough: Because of masks, it's recommended you step up your brushing and flossing to be either more frequent and more thorough. This includes scraping or brushing the tongue and cheeks.

  3. Dehydration - you need saliva to rinse away the bacteria that causes bad breath. If you're dehydrated, your body can't produce the saliva needed to help wash bacteria away. Be sure to drink enough water as well.

  4. Diseases of the mouth, lungs or heart - These are serious factors that should be addressed by your physician.

  5. Heartburn - (regurgitating stomach acid) Not only does heartburn not feel nice, but it can wreak havoc on our breath. Many over-the-counter options can help calm the symptoms.

  6. Allergies/Post-nasal drip: Symptoms like post-nasal drip can cause bad breath. Taking medications for allergies can dry up more than just your nose. If you are taking medications for allergies, be sure to increase your water intake to help keep your mouth moist and saliva production up.

  7. Tonsil stones - Some people are prone to these stinky little things. Allergies and respiratory illnesses can bring them on. Your dentist can help with removing these.

  8. You're a mouth-breather - As long as you're drinking enough fluids during the day, mouth-breathing is not a problem. During the night when we're not producing as much saliva, we can wake up with sour breath. Just be sure to re-hydrate before putting on your mask.

Tips for better breath under the mask:

  1. Brush your teeth, tongue and cheeks more frequently. Floss to get food particles out of hard to reach places.

  2. Use an antibacterial mouthwash. Products like Listerine will help kill the germs that cause bad breath, get in places where your toothbrush might miss, and freshen your breath.

  3. Do what you can to increase saliva production: chew sugar free gum and mints, and drink plenty of water.

  4. Consume foods like lemons, parsley, apples, carrots, other crisp fruits and vegetables.

Questions? Please feel free to call our Orthodontic office at 530.885.8331 or email us at:

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