This article provides six professional tips for busting and preventing bad breath, or halitosis.
Beat Bad Breath Tip # 1: Good Oral Hygiene
“Good oral hygiene is at the very heart of preventing bad breath, therefore, brushing and flossing more thoroughly and more often is a must,” say a Silver Spring dentist. “As a rule, you should be flossing before you go to bed at night and you should brush for two minutes, three times a day.”
Beat Bad Breath Tip # 2: Use a Tongue Scraper
The tongue is often neglected in the home oral hygiene routine and yet, it’s full of tiny cracks and crevasses where bacteria can hide. Stick your tongue out in the mirror. It should be pink all the way to the back of the mouth - any whiteness or staining is evidence of the oral bacteria that sour your breath. Brush your tongue or make use of a tongue scraper to avoid this problem.
Beat Bad Breath Tip # 3: Stop Smoking
“Smoking causes halitosis, not only because the smell of it seeps into the soft tissues of your mouth, but also because it causes dry mouth,” explains a dentist in Silver Spring. “This renders the oral cavity a more favorable environment for bacterial growth, since saliva contains anti-bacterial enzymes. Smoking also impedes the natural healing process and leaves you more vulnerable to infection, tooth loss and oral cancer.”
Beat Bad Breath Tip # 4: Avoid Stinky Foods
No matter how good you are about keeping your teeth clean, there are certain foods and beverages that will sour your breath. “Pungent foods, such as onion and garlic will immediately make your breath smell bad, but the real problem behind these foods is that they get absorbed by the bloodstream and are then exhaled out through the lungs,” explain Silver Spring dentists. “The same applies to alcohol. Drink enough of it and you’ll literally start breathing alcoholic fumes.”
The best way to remedy bad breath caused by pungent-smelling foods and alcoholic beverages is to either (1) avoid them entirely, (2) enjoy them WITH your date so that you don’t notice it on their breath later, (3) decide not to care what other people think!
Beat Bad Breath Tip # 5: Chew Sugar-free Gum
“Lots of people suck on mints or other candies in an effort to sweeten their breath, when in fact it can have the opposite effect,” explains the dentist in Silver Spring. “Anything with sugar in it will encourage bacteria to flourish in your mouth. And bacteria are responsible for making your breath bad. So, while an after-dinner mint may sweeten your breath for ten minutes or so, it will start to sour shortly thereafter. Chewing sugar-free gum is way better. It also remineralizes your teeth, neutralizes acid and helps to irrigate your mouth.”
Beat Bad Breath Tip # 6: Book an Appointment with Your Dentist or Doctor
If none of your oral hygiene efforts are paying off, it might be time to go and see the dentist! You may have an infection somewhere in your mouth. It is also possible that your problem isn’t oral at all! Certain diseases and infections elsewhere in the body can cause your breath to go bad. Sinus infections and liver, kidney and respiratory problems all have “bad breath” listed under their symptoms, so make sure you ask your Silver Spring dentist for advice!