Bad breath, also known as halitosis, is a symptom of noticeably unpleasant breath odor. It can cause anxiety, depression, and obsessive-compulsive disorder. Fortunately, it’s fairly easy to improve your breath and keep your teeth and gums healthy at the same time. Today we’ll discuss nine simple ways to make your mouth feel fresh and clean, and get rid of bad breath!
1. Brush and Floss
Simple, but effective – the easiest solution to getting rid of bad breath is to brush and floss more often. The general recommendation is to brush your teeth at least two times a day, and floss at least once. However, if you’re concerned about your breath, you should brush and floss more often. Brushing and flossing prevents the buildup of bacteria, plaque, and tartar – all of which can cause bad breath. Having food stuck in between your teeth can also cause bad breath.
Pack a few floss picks or even a mini-brush to clean your teeth during the day can effectively neutralize odor-causing foods that are causing your breath to stink. Additionally, pay attention to how you are brushing. Typically brushing in a circular motion and brushing the back molars will prove to be the best way to crush bad breath. Whatever the case, don’t over-brush (or brush too hard) as that might make your teeth vulnerable and cause them to wear down.
2. Use Mouthwash
Be sure that when you brush and floss, that you are rinsing your mouth out with water. Rinsing makes sure that any bacteria that may be left in your mouth is removed. Taken a step further, use mouthwash to smell fresh and prevent bacteria from forming between brushing. Mouthwash is available in a variety of flavors with anti-bacterial properties, so just choose a flavor you like. You can use it any time, but it shouldn’t replace brushing and flossing. Rinse daily with a good mouthwash and you can stop bad breath fast.
3. Scrape Your Tongue
If you’re brushing, flossing and using mouthwash regularly, but your breath still stinks, then your tongue may be the problem. The coating that forms naturally on your tongue is a natural host for smelly bacteria that causes bad breath. Luckily, getting rid of it is simple. Just gently scrape your tongue regularly with the back of your toothbrush or a tongue scraper. You should notice a layer of bacteria, usually white or yellow, come off when you spit. Be sure to rinse your mouth after your scrape.
4. Avoid Stinky Foods
Certain foods, while tasty, have a tendency to leave a stench in our mouths long after we’ve eaten. Foods like onion and garlic are the biggest offenders. Unfortunately, brushing after you eat these types of foods doesn’t always solve the problem since whatever the substance that causes their bad smells makes it’s way into your bloodstream and travels up to your lungs when you breathe out. Subsequently, these foods also release an odor from our pores and hit our digestive tract pretty hard.
Therefore, if you know that you’re already prone to bad breath, the best way to get rid of it is to avoid foods that intensify the problem. Or, at a minimum, avoid these types of foods before going out in public.
5. Drink More Water
Another reason for bad breath is a dry mouth. If your mouth is dry, then your body may not be making enough saliva, which can cause tooth decay and bad breath. There’s an easy fix for this as well. Drink more water during the day. You can also chew sugarless gum or suck on sugar-free candy to increase the saliva in your mouth.
If that doesn’t solve the problem, try adding a humidifier to your room at night to moisten the air in your home.
6. Quit Smoking
If you’re a smoker and you also have bad breath, you may want to consider giving up your habit. Smoking not only can cause cancer, stain your teeth, and damage your gums, but it’s definitely a cause for bad breath. Try nicotine patches or lozenges to curb the urge to smoke, or speak to your doctor.
7. Talk to Your Doctor
If you’ve tried all of the above, and your bad breath continues despite your best efforts, it may be time to make an appointment with your doctor. Bad breath is a common symptom of strep throat and other medically related problems, so your doctor may need to check you out to see what else is going on.
If it’s been more than six months since you’ve seen the dentist, call Dr. Katherine E. Garrett and schedule your appointment. New patients are always welcome, and we are proud to provide dental care for your entire family. Don’t wait until you have a dental emergency, call our office today!