Have you noticed an unpleasant odour when donning your face masks for long periods of time? Donning face masks for protection can cause “mask breath”. Bad breath is more pronounced when the mask covers both the nose and mouth. For children, frontline staff who have to don masks for long periods of time, the odour can get worse.
There are several ways to freshen up “mask breath”. Oral hygiene is the key to fresh breath and kids can also taught the same good habits.
Preventing “Mask Breath” in 6 Ways
1. Brush teeth well, use an electronic toothbrush
Most people do not brush their teeth well. What we mean by well – the duration of each tooth brushing session should be ideally 2 minutes with 10 seconds on each surface. We recommend using an electronic toothbrush to remove plaque more efficiently. This is especially so for children who may lack the technique to brush their teeth thoroughly and should use electronic toothbrushes.
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Zenyum has recently launched its sleek-looking sonic toothbrush – Zenyum Sonic. It is 10 times faster than the average toothbrush and removes 21% more plaque. It also has timed sessions and indicates when you should switch sides when brushing – with a gentle beep and vibrations end when the two-minute mark is up. That is surely, smart brushing thanks to technology. Who’s keeping time? The toothbrush is!
Brushing teeth properly helps not just with teeth cleanliness but prevents gum diseases. So the term “brushing teeth” should be extended to “brushing teeth AND gums”. Clean teeth and healthy gums translate to less bacteria in the mouth and fresher breath!
2. Floss well
While flossing is a chore, it is essential for reaching between the teeth and gums where the toothbrush can’t. Be sure to extend the floss upwards slightly into the gums of each corner of the teeth. This helps to get rid of bits of food trapped in between teeth and freshen breath.
Children can use disposable flossers to begin their flossing journey as flossers are much easier to use. Interdental brushes also work, however they may not fill interdental spaces which means food traps can be tough to clear.
3. Use a mouth wash
Since brushing and flossing may not be sufficient for oral hygiene, the quick and easy way is to use an alcohol-free mouth wash! Mouth wash helps reduce the amount of bacteria in the mouth, thus freshening the breath and prevent tooth decay.
There is also mouthwash specific for children. Listerine launched a kids’ mouthwash which contains fluoride and a kid-friendly taste. For children particularly prone to ulcers, it could be helpful as well. With the long duration of mask-wearing daily, children can use the mouthwash to remove germs and food particles.
4. Keep mouth moist
Saliva has a role in “washing” the mouth. If you have to talk a lot, this dries out the mouth. To keep the mouth moist, drink water frequently. After meals especially, gurgle and spitting out the water helps with oral hygiene.
5. Watch the diet
Certain foods can cause foul-smelling breath. Garlic, snacks, sugary food, high-protein diet or keto-diet and supplements such as Omega 3 can be culprits of bad breath. To counter this, try a mint or parsley, red capsicum or broccoli.
6. Visit the dentist regularly
Visiting the dentist can be intimidating and unwelcome, especially by the young children. However, regular visits to the dentist help identify the root of issues such as toothache, tooth sensitivity and bad breath. The cause of bad breath could be due to underlying health issues that the dentist may be able to diagnose. Regular dental visits can also help keep the teeth and gums healthy and thus less prone to decay or diseases – causing the breath to stink.
Eradicate the Foul Mask Breath to Smell Good
We certainly want to smell as good as we look. Keep up with the oral hygiene habits and your breath would be smelling fresh. Don’t forget to sun or wash your cloth masks which tend to absorb more moisture.
Let’s keep masks on and odours off!
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