Have you ever walked around wearing a mask for close to an entire day, or perhaps for some people it only takes a couple of hours, and suddenly realized you smell something pretty darn pungent? You look around at the folks nearby and wonder if they can smell it too? Is anyone smiling at you or grimacing? How can you tell? They all have masks on too! If you think you’re currently living in an alternate universe where oral health care doesn’t matter and smiles don’t either – welcome to the club! We’ve got some news for you though. Oral health is always important, even when people can’t see you smile and as for that smell? We invite you to read on.
We overheard some comments recently as someone shared a bit of a humorous story about smelling something “funny” while they were running errands. After stopping at several stores, running in and out quickly to limit exposure and always wearing their masks, they soon realized the “funny” smell seemed to be following them everywhere! Searching the car high and low for some rancid leftover food caught between the seats, they pulled off their masks in frustration and caught a whiff as they did so – Yikes! It turns out the funny smell was their own scorching case of halitosis! If you’re laughing along right now (as we were) we’re glad we made you smile but this story, for the team at Brinkley Dental, highlighted several important considerations when it comes to both mask wear and care and oral health care.
- Make sure you are washing your cloth masks frequently and if it’s a disposable mask you choose to use – DISPOSE of it don’t reuse it!
- Make sure you are wearing and using your mask properly at all times and even if it means you’re smelling your own breath – keep your nose inside – that’s where it’s supposed to be!
- Wearing a mask is not an excuse to NOT practice good oral hygiene. Many of us are voluntarily living life a little more “relaxed” these days; letting our roots show, wearing a little less makeup and dressing a bit more casually than we used to. That’s great but not brushing your teeth? Yuck. Not to mention, it’s just not good for your teeth, mouth, gums or even your overall health. I know it’s a shame to hide your smile but one day it’ll be your time to shine again so please keep on brushing til then!
There’s not much to know in terms of preventing halitosis, but here are a few tips and remember, oral health care is often more of a question of frequency:
- You need to brush your teeth regularly.
- You should really consider flossing regularly too in order to release any trapped food particles that can become bacteria ridden, turn to plaque, become smelly and/or problematic.
- You may also want to occasionally gargle with mouthwash.
- Oral rinses and sprays are also available for folks with particularly problematic breath.
- Brush after every meal whenever possible.
- If the problem continues you may want to consider a consultation with your dental practitioner to look at whether gum disease is contributing to the issue and/or with your family Dr., as rarely, bad breath can also be a sign of something going wrong elsewhere in the body.
All joking aside, halitosis is really no laughing matter and while you may think it’s a good reason to hide behind a mask, please don’t! One day we’ll be able to share our smile with the world again and when we can – we hope yours is in tip-top shape. Take good care of your mask and take good care of your smile too! In the meantime, as always, “don’t forget to be a BFF with your mouth and brush that smile!”