Bad breath is incredibly common, especially after eating such known odiferous foods as onions and garlic. In fact, there is an entire industry making billions of dollars every year on breath fresheners. If you have chronic bad breath, banishing it is a bit trickier than simply masking it, but by following these 7 simple tips, you can get rid of your bad breath for good.
1. Practice Scrupulous Oral Hygiene
Banishing bad breath starts with excellent oral hygiene. Brush your teeth at least twice per day, or after every meal if possible. Floss at least once per day. Be careful not to brush too hard or too long in each session, which can damage tooth enamel, but make sure you are spending a full 30 seconds on each quadrant of your mouth. Rinse with clear, cool water after every snack or sugary beverage. Have your teeth professionally cleaned twice per year.
2. Use a Tongue Scraper
The tongue can harbor quite a few bacteria that can build up and cause odors. Brushing the tongue is often sufficient, but it can be difficult to thoroughly clean the back of the tongue with a brush. A tongue scraper is shaped in just the right way to apply even pressure and remove the buildup from the entire tongue. This can be particularly helpful if you have a strong gag reflex, which can be triggered by a large toothbrush.
3. Choose a Medicated Mouth Rinse
Many mouthwashes contain a strong scent that is designed to mask mouth odors. Medicated mouth rinses, however, actually fight the bacteria that cause odors. Choose a formulation that contains both bacteria-killing agents and a pleasant lingering smell for a one-two punch against bad breath.
4. Stay Hydrated
Saliva is nature’s mouth rinse, and a dry mouth makes it easier for odor-causing bacteria to take hold. The average healthy adult should drink at least eight glasses of water per day. If you are on medications that cause dry mouth, or live in a particularly arid climate, up your water intake even more. Also consider running a humidifier at night and using oral hygiene products that are specially formulated to combat dryness.
5. Cut the Sugar
Sugar is a natural breeding ground for bacteria, so simply reducing your sugar intake can dramatically improve your breath. If you like to eat candy throughout the day, switch to sugar-free hard candy or sugarless chewing gum. These snacks will replace a lot of your sugar consumption, and will stimulate your mouth to produce saliva. When you do consume sugar, rinse out your mouth right away.
6. Try Tea and Spices
There is some evidence that green and black tea, as well as such spices as cardamom and fennel, have natural antibacterial properties. Expanding your culinary range a bit could be just the thing to banish your bad breath once and for all. Tea is also known for its soothing properties, allowing you to settle your stomach and relax from a hard day while simultaneously fighting your bad breath. But do be aware that tea can cause staining of your teeth as well.
7. See Your Dentist
Chronic bad breath can be a symptom of numerous different conditions, including tooth decay and chronic sinusitis. Many of these illnesses are easy to treat. Getting rid of the underlying condition will not only improve your breath, but also your overall physical health. So if you have tried home remedies and are not getting much relief, make a dentist appointment right away.
Bad breath is incredibly common. In most cases, it is caused by dietary choices or a minor chronic condition. With so many treatments available, both in the dentist’s office and over the counter, there is no need to continue to suffer.
At Family Dental Care of Bellevue, we are committed to providing quality dental care to our patients and their families. We are proud to have been voted one of the best dental offices in Washington State. If you are ready to take the first steps toward improving your dental health, we invite you to call 425-643-5778 today to make an appointment for your initial consultation.