At Dr. Cynthia Wong’s orthodontic practice in Orland Park, we endeavor to make our patients’ treatment as comfortable as possible in all aspects, including odor. While we hope our patients know how to clean their orthodontic devices, the increased risk of dry mouth makes it especially important that they keep up with their oral hygiene, as well.
Saliva is one of the body’s most important defense mechanisms against tooth-decay causing bacteria. When saliva production slows down or is insufficient, bacteria are able to grow out of control, causing a bad odor.
Typically, when people suffer from dry mouth, chewing sugar-free gum is one of the recommended ways of increasing saliva production. But this isn’t an option for people with braces and is impractical for people wearing aligners or retainers. Another option is to use a throat moisturizer, which can be purchased over-the-counter or prescribed for people suffering severe dryness. It is also helpful to reduce consumption of sugary, caffeinated, and alcoholic beverages and to quit smoking and using tobacco products. Of course, drinking more water and using a humidifier are the most reliable ways of preventing dry mouth.