Having foul breath, also known as halitosis, can be very embarrassing for the person with it and for those around them. It is a difficult thing to bring to the attention of someone who doesn’t realize just how bad their breath stinks. It can negatively affect social interactions and ruin relationships.
Luckily, it is easy to get rid of bad breath while maintaining healthy teeth and gums. Use the following simple steps to keep your mouth fresh and smelling clean.
Brush your teeth and use dental floss
Sticky plaque buildup collects bacteria on teeth causing bad breath odor. Food that gets trapped between teeth and below the gumline adds to the problem.
Brush twice daily and floss once a day. This is the minimum. If breath odor is a concern, brush, and floss more often. Remember not to overdo it and brush too hard. Too much pressure can wear down the enamel, making teeth more vulnerable to decay.
Use a good mouthwash
A good mouthwash with freshen your breath and provide added protection against oral bacteria. Look for an antibacterial rinse that kills the germs that cause bad breath. Some brands only mask the smell.
It is also helpful to make it a habit of rinsing your mouth with plain water after you eat. This will dislodge food particles that may be stuck between teeth.
Clean and scrape your tongue
Use a tongue scraper to remove the coating that forms across the top of the tongue and hosts a layer smelly bacteria. You can also gently brush your tongue with a toothbrush.
Avoid foods that cause bad breath
Pungent foods such as garlic or onions are big offenders. Even brushing after you indulge doesn’t rid you of the odor because these substances enter the bloodstream and the smells are emitted through the lungs as you exhale. Either avoid eating such foods altogether, or don’t eat them prior to socializing.
Here is one more reason to stop smoking, or not to start in the first place. Smoking can stain your teeth, destroy your gums and cause bad breath.
Chew sugarless gum
Oral bacteria thrive on sugar. The evil critters use it to make the acid that breaks down tooth enamel and causes unpleasant mouth odors. Instead of a sugary after-dinner mint, choose sugar-free gum instead. It will stimulate saliva production, a powerful natural defense mechanism in the fight against plaque and bad odors.
Keep your mouth moist
If you are not producing enough saliva, you will be more prone to tooth decay and bad breath. If you suffer from dry mouth, increase your water intake through the day. Suck on hard sugarless candy or chew sugarless gum, and consider using a humidifier to moisten the air in your home.
If despite these efforts, you continue to suffer from bad breath, consult with your doctor or dentist.