What Parts of Your Oral Hygiene Routine May Leave You with Bad Breath?

Good oral hygiene requires that you perform specific tasks a specific number of times per day. To keep your teeth and gums in good shape you have to brush twice daily, and you should floss in between brushings over the course of the day.

Many things can help in your oral hygiene regimens such as using fluoride toothpaste and fluoride mouthwash. These aren’t necessarily requirements, however, since most municipal water systems put fluoride in their water, but it can’t hurt either.

Your oral hygiene regimen is designed to keep your teeth clean, remove food particles, and helps to freshen the breath. One part of your oral hygiene regimen that many people forget is to stay hydrated. Staying hydrated ensures that you have sufficient saliva to wash our teeth with during the day. Our saliva is your body’s way of washing your teeth. But there are parts of the oral hygiene regimen that help keep your breath fresh and many people forget about those parts. Mints can’t do it all.


You are told to brush your teeth for two minutes. It is best to take it one quarter at a time. For example, you could start at the lower front, then go to the lower back then to the upper front and the upper back. You would spend half a minute on each section. This way you know each section is completed.

But many of our patients, when they are finished with their teeth, rinse their mouth and think they are done. Or they may rinse with mouthwash as well and then think they are done. But what they forget are the two places that bacteria hide that cause you bad breath; the roof of your mouth, the sides of your cheeks, and your tongue. That is correct. Those three places can cause you more breath problems than your teeth could hope to.

We are serious. These three places can store a lot of bacteria. Did you ever wake up and notice a light film on the roof of your mouth or on your tongue? This light film accumulates when you have insufficient saliva to wash away the bacteria in your mouth. This is what causes your bad breath. It is important to add your tongue, the roof of your mouth and the sides of your cheeks to your dental regimen.

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Next time you call for an appointment, let us know you want to go over your daily dental routine. We are happy to help.