Our Tips for Fighting Halitosis
No one likes to hear that they have bad breath. It's embarrassing to have a loved one mention that your breath is less than fresh, and it's even more disheartening to wonder who else has noticed that your breath isn't exactly sweet-smelling.
Bad breath isn't always easy to conquer. Sometimes it's obvious where the problem originates. For example, the raw onions that you loaded on your lunch salad. Yum! Then you'll remember not to chow down on the odoriferous veggies before your next important meeting or date night. But what if the problem is more subtle?
The Best Ways to Fight Bad Breath
Start with the basics: The first steps to preventing bad breath involve brushing thoroughly twice a day and flossing daily. An electric toothbrush can help with this. Flossing will help get rid of any food debris stuck between your teeth that your toothbrush is unable to get. Flossing is also important because if the food debris is not removed, it will attract the bacteria to it, causing bad breath. Keeping your mouth clean goes a long way toward warding off bad breath.
Brush your tongue too: Bacteria like to live on the tongue as well as between teeth and in plaque that clings to enamel. It's important that you brush between your tastebuds and the folds in your tongue. We recommend buying a tongue scraper, but your toothbrush will also work just fine.
Rinse your mouth: A recent study conducted by the University of Illinois at Chicago found that rinsing your mouth will green or black tea helps suppress bacterial growth, which causes bad breath. In cases where you just need an emergency breath freshener, we recommend mixing water and a few drops of peppermint oil. However, it's important to note that using a mouthwash is not a cure all solution, especially if your constant bad breath is due to a dental problem. In fact, mouthwash may make the problem worse as the harshness of it can irritate dental tissue.
Schedule regular visits with your dentist: Regular professional dental care can detect dental problems early when they are easier to treat. Having dental issues treated as they occur means a healthier mouth and fresher breath. A checkup also gives you a chance to talk to us about your breath. Finally, sometimes the root cause is systemic. If that is the case, a referral to a medical specialist may be necessary.
Don't smoke: Tobacco usage causes your mouth to dry out and it has a tendency to leave a foul odor, even after you've brushed your teeth.
Chew gum: It's likely you've seen at least one of the gum commercials designed to make you fear bad breath. However, chewing gum really does help prevent bad breath. Chewing gum helps stimulate saliva flow, which in turn helps get rid of any food debris or odor-causing bacteria. However, it's important that you select a sugarless gum (or candy), as sugar is not great for your teeth.
Eat fresh, crispy fruits and vegetables: Believe it or not, hunger or fasting can cause bad breath. An empty stomach actually causes acids in your stomach to build up and cause foul odors in your mouth. To prevent this from happening, we recommend that you snack on crispy and fresh fruits and veggies because they stimulate saliva flow, which wash away bad breath causing bacteria on the teeth, gums, and tongue.
Keep your mouth hydrated: Water is good for your whole body, but sipping water can also help prevent bad breath. Patients who suffer from dry mouth, which is often a side effect of certain medications, are more likely to develop halitosis or bad breath. You can fight this problem by sipping water, chewing sugar-free gum, or eating sugar-free lozenges.