Many adults look back at their childhood and wish they had braces. Usually, the reasons have to do with a crooked smile but that’s not the only plus of having orthodontic work early on. Having braces can actually help curb bad breath.
Gaps in the smile create nooks between the teeth that trap food particles. Bacteria then consume the proteins in your “leftovers” for energy, creating a sulfur-stricken environment that is very hard to treat. “Most people have no idea of the tiny food particles nestled in the crevices of their teeth because the food particles aren’t large enough that you’d feel them,” says Atlanta cosmetic dentist Ronald E. Goldstein, DDS. “As a result, they continue to multiply, making your breath smell worse and worse.”
So what’s the solution? Straighten your teeth. It’s never too late to close up spaces that serve as a breeding ground for bad breath bacteria. Invisalign, clear plastic trays that sequentially align the teeth, is a great way to eliminate minor gaps. “Each tray puts force on the teeth, causing them to move in the desired direction, picking up where the one before it left off,” says Malibu and Simi Valley, CA, cosmetic dentist Bob S. Perkins, DDS.