1. Clean your invisible aligners.
Make sure your invisible aligners are fresh and clean! Clean aligners = better breath. Clean your invisible aligners by soaking them in gentle liquid soap and water, or a combination of vinegar and water, for 20 minutes. Never use toothpaste, which can scratch your aligners and cause damage. Avoid bleach and alcohol, as well as boiling water, which can warp them.
Did you know straight teeth are healthier teeth? Take the free 30-second smile assessment now to see if you’re a candidate for invisible aligners.
2. Munch on apples.
This popular fruit is an excellent bad breath cure. A study in the Journal of Food Sciencefound that apples help neutralize the bad breath odors caused by raw garlic. Bite into an apple, and you’ll be getting healthy fiber, good-for-you vitamins, and better breath to boot. Maybe an apple a day really does keep the doctor away.
3. Eat yogurt.
Choose plain, unsweetened yogurt to treat halitosis. A study from the International Associations for Dental Research found that participants who ate 3 ounces of sugar-free yogurt twice a day for 6 weeks had lower levels of bacteria-causing compounds. They also had lower levels of plaque and gingivitis than those who didn’t eat yogurt.
4. Sip herbal tea.
We’re big fans of peppermint tea for fresh breath and a calm digestive system. Researchhas shown that green tea is highly effective against mouth odors. The antioxidants – or polyphenols – in green tea can reduce the sulfur compounds in your mouth that lead to bad breath. Grab your mug and drink up!
5. Drink more water.
This one might seem obvious, but staying well hydrated is the easiest and quickest answer to your bad breath woes. Keep your mouth moist and rinse any leftover food particles to fight off mouth odors.
6. Brush and floss after snacks.
Without daily brushing and flossing, food gets trapped in your mouth and in between your teeth. You already know to brush and floss in the morning and at night, but to really beat bad breath, make sure to brush and floss after snacks, too. A pre-pasted disposable toothbrush, like the Colgate Wisp, makes it easy to brush on-the-go. We also like DenTek floss picks to make flossing easy.
7. Clean your tongue.
Bacteria can get stuck on your tongue, too, leading to bad breath. Many toothbrushes have built-in tongue cleaners – use them! Squeeze a dollop of toothpaste onto your tongue and gently brush back and forth. A tongue scraper will also do the trick. Just be sure not to scrape too hard! Make cleaning your tongue a part of your regular brushing and flossing routine.
8. Chew breath mints.
Look for aligner-friendly breath mints – such as Movemints – to eliminate bad breath while keeping your aligners or retainers in your mouth. Plus, Movemints also help seat your aligners as you chew them.
9. Avoid bad breath–inducing foods and drinks.
This includes garlic, onions, spicy foods, and we hate to say it, coffee and alcohol. When it comes to adding flavor to food, we love garlic, onions, and spices. But we suggest steering clear during your big date night. In addition, coffee and alcoholic drinks have a drying effect. With less saliva, bacteria stays in your mouth longer and results in bad breath. If you do drink coffee or alcohol, follow up with water and brushing your teeth.
Now that you’re ready to cure any bad breath before date night, don’t forget to bring your aligner case with you so you can safely store your aligners during dinner! And if you’re going on a first date, don’t worry: Our invisible aligners are super clear and discreet, so there’s no reason to feel self-conscious about wearing them. Smile and have fun!