No one likes bad breath, but does everyone do the things necessary to prevent it? More than 40 million Americans suffer from bad breath, or halitosis, according to the American Dental Hygienists’ Association. Bad breath can make you self-conscious, affect your social life and leave you embarrassed. However, there are easy and effective ways to freshen your breath.
Brush and floss more often
Plaque is one of the major causes to bad breath. The sticky build up on the teeth fosters stinky bacteria. Meanwhile, food left between the teeth can add to the problem. Everyone should brush at least twice and day and floss daily. If you’re worried about bad breath, brush and floss more often but don’t overdo it. Brushing too forcefully can even erode enamel, making teeth even more susceptible to decay.
Avoid foods that make your breath smell
Foods certainly affect the way your breath smells. Onion and garlic are the main offenders and even after brushing your teeth, it doesn’t help. These foods, in particular, travel through your blood stream and travel to your lungs, where you breathe it out. Really, the only way to cure this is avoid these foods.
Scrape your tongue
You’re tongue naturally coats itself with possible foul-smelling bacterial. So you need to eliminate them by either gently brushing your tongue with a toothbrush or use a tongue scraper. Dental hygienists say that tongue scrapers are essential in a proper oral heath care routine. The nice thing about the scraper is it applies even pressure on the surface of the tongue area so bacteria, food debris and dead cells can be removed.
No more smoking
We all know the dangers of smoking and now you can add bad breath to the long list of negative effects. Smoking damages tissue in your mouth and stains teeth. Smoking cessation is key to not only oral health but also overall health.
Use mouth rinse
Not only does mouth rinse freshen your breath it also reduces plaque-causing bacteria. Swish your mouth with the rinse, or if in a bind use plain water. This will freshen your breath by eliminating food particles.
Keep gums healthy
Periodontal disease, or gum disease is a very common cause of bad breath. Bacteria can accumulate in pockets at the base of the teeth and create bad odors. If you have gum disease, a dentist may recommend a periodontist, who specializes in treating gum disease.
Skip the post-dinner mint
Sugar mint candies may appear to freshen breath, but instead they promote growth of bacterial in your mouth and add onto bad breath problems. Instead, chew sugarless gum. The gum stimulates saliva, which is the mouth’s natural defense against plaque acids, which cause decay and bad breath.
Watch out for dry mouth
As stated above, saliva is a key component to fending off bad bacterial. The lack of salvia will increase tooth decay and cause bad breath. If your mouth is dry, try drinking water or chewing sugarless gum or hard candy. Use a humidifier at night during the winter months. If your mouth is still dry talk to your dentist or doctor. Oftentimes, dry mouth is a side effect of certain medications.
Consult your doctor
If bad breath persists despite your best efforts, it’s probably a good time to see your doctor. Bad breath can be a sign of medical conditions such as allergies, sinuses infections, lung infection, diabetes or even liver or kidney diseases.