C. R. Harris, Jr., D.D.S., LTD
Keep Your Breath Fresh For The Holidays
With the holidays approaching, most of us will spend plenty of time up close and personal with friends and family. You'll want to be sure your breath is fresh! Whether you call it bad breath or halitosis, it’s an unpleasant condition that’s cause for embarrassment. Bad breath can be caused by a number of sources and treatment depends on the cause.
Here are a few of the causes of bad breath.
•Food. What you eat foods like garlic or onions, it effects the air you exhale. Coffee is also a big offender. If you don't brush and floss daily, particles of food can remain in the mouth, collecting bacteria, which can cause bad breath. Dieters may develop unpleasant breath from infrequent eating. •Gum disease. Persistent bad breath or a bad taste in the mouth can also be one of the warning signs of gum disease; which is caused by plaque. •Dry mouth. This occurs when the flow of saliva decreases and can be caused by various medications, salivary gland problems or continuously breathing through the mouth. Without enough saliva, food particles are not cleaned away. If you suffer from dry mouth, your dentist may prescribe artificial saliva, or suggest using sugarless candy or increase your fluid intake. •Smoking and tobacco. In addition to staining teeth and being bad for overall health, tobacco can add to bad breath. Tobacco reduces your ability to taste foods and irritates gum tissues. Tobacco users are more likely to suffer from gum disease and are at greater risk for developing oral cancer. If you use tobacco, ask your dentist for tips on kicking the habit. •Medical conditions. Some diseases have symptoms related to bad breath. Sinus or lung infections, bronchitis, diabetes, and some liver or kidney diseases may be associated with bad breath.
Maintaining good oral hygiene, eliminating gum disease and scheduling regular professional cleanings are essential to reducing bad breath. Brush twice a day and clean between your teeth daily with floss. Brush your tongue, too. If you wear dentures, be sure to remove them at night and clean them thoroughly before replacing them the next morning.
It’s important to note that mouthwash will only mask the odor temporarily. Mouthwashes are generally cosmetic and do not have a long-lasting effect on bad breath. If you must constantly use a breath freshener to hide unpleasant mouth odor, see your dentist.
New Year Healthy Habits
Brushing your teeth is the cornerstone of any good oral hygiene routine. To keep your teeth and gums healthy, always be sure to brush your teeth twice a day with a soft-bristled brush. The size and shape of your brush should fit your mouth allowing you to reach all areas easily. Also, don’t forget to replace your toothbrush every three or four months or sooner if the bristles are frayed. A worn toothbrush won’t do a good job of cleaning your teeth. Finally, make sure to use an ADA-accepted fluoride toothpaste. If you are prone to cavities, you can get Prevident toothpaste at our office to help with cavity prevention.
Flossing goes hand in hand with brushing. By flossing once a day, you help to remove plaque from between your teeth, in areas where the toothbrush can't reach. This is extremely important because plaque that is not removed by brushing and flossing can eventually harden into calculus or tartar. Once tartar has formed, it can only be removed by a professional cleaning.
From a personal perspective, using a Waterpic has been the best addition to my oral hygiene routine. It has been great for my gums, which are receding as I age. Also it has reduced the number of cavities I have. It is amazing the amount of tiny food particles that still remain between your teeth, even after brushing and flossing,. I actually miss not using the Waterpic if I am away from home. I know, I've been hanging around my dentist too much!! If you don't have a Waterpic, it is worth giving it a try. We sell them at the office and our staff will be happy to go over with you how to use them properly.
Wishing you a very Merry Christmas
and the Happiest of New Years!