If you’re wanting to improve your breath, you can do so by following these simple steps, which will also improve the health of your teeth and gums at the same time. For a fresh and clean mouth, you should do the following:
- Brush and floss as recommended by most dentists.
Bad breath can be caused by a buildup of plaque on your teeth, which is a sticky substance that traps bacteria next to your teeth. You can also find that trapped food doesn’t help either.
You’ll want to brush your teeth twice a day and floss once or more if you want to keep on top of your breath.
Just don’t go overboard. If you brush too much and too hard, you’ll wear down your teeth’s enamel, creating the perfect environment for tooth decay.
- Rinsing your mouth with each brushing or after eating.
Mouthwash is great for antibacterial means of ridding your mouth of extra bacteria that can cause problems with your breath and your teeth’s health. It’ll also freshen your breath with a fresh minty flavor. While there are plenty on the market, you want one that does contain antibacterial properties instead of one that just covers the bad breath. You should use it daily to stop bad breath at its source.
If you eat food that can stick in your teeth, swishing your mouth with plain water can also help with ridding your mouth of these particles as well as neutralizing any acids you may have eaten.
- Don’t forget to scrape your tongue.
If you notice a coating on your tongue, that coating is the perfect place for bacteria that produces bad breath to hide. To rid yourself of this bacteria, you’ll want to brush your tongue with your toothbrush.
If your toothbrush isn’t a realistic tool, you can also try a scraper to get the back of your tongue. According to Pamela L. Quinones, the past president for the American Dental Hygienists’ Association, says, “They’re designed specifically to apply even pressure across the surface of the tongue area. This removes bacteria, food debris, and dead cells that brushing alone can’t take care of.”
- Your breath can be soured by certain foods you should avoid.
The biggest offenders of this are onions and garlic because you’ll find that even brushing is no match for them.
What makes them so difficult? They don’t just stick inside your mouth to cause their bad smells, but rather get into your bloodstream until they reach your lungs, where you then breathe them back out, says dentist Richard Price, DMD, American Dental Association spokesperson.
How to keep them from doing this? Don’t eat them. If you love them, then don’t eat them prior to work or dates with friends.
- Stop smoking.
Smoking is the worst habit you can have because it does the following to your health: causes cancer, damages your gums, stains your teeth, and gives you bad breath.
You can help yourself in quitting by purchasing nicotine patches that will control your urge to smoke. If those aren’t enough, you can also contact your doctor for an appointment to discuss programs or medications that can help you stop smoking once and for all.
- Forget the mints, chew some gum instead.
Most mints that you can grab after your dinner contain sugar, which the bacteria in your mouth loves and uses to create acid in your mouth. This acid, in turn, damages your teeth and creates bad breath. If you need something to freshen your breath, chew gum without sugar.
“Gum stimulates saliva, which is the mouth’s natural defense mechanism against plaque acids, which cause tooth decay and bad breath,” Quinones says.
- Healthy gums stop bad breath.
Did you know gum disease causes bad breath? It’s because bacteria seeks out and gathers in the pockets at your tooth’s base, creating an odor.
Your dentist or periodontist can help you with your gum disease by finding the right treatment.
- Keep your mouth moist.
Without proper amounts of saliva, your dry mouth can be a breeding ground for tooth decay and bad breath. If you suffer from dry mouth, keep your mouth moist by drinking plenty of water each day.
Gum or candies that are sugar-free are also options since they stimulate saliva production. You can even try a humidifier at night to keep the air in your home moist.
- Visit your dentist or doctor.
If you’ve followed each of these steps and are still experiencing bad breath, you should make an appointment with your doctor or dentist. He’ll want to see if there’s a relation of your bad breath to another medical condition.