Bad breath is bad for everyone – you, who may be offending those you come in contact with, and those in your path, who have to suffer through it. You can knock out bad breath with help from your dentist, of course, but also with a few tricks of your own.
It’s helpful to also know what kind of things people do everyday that can contribute to bad breath. Read on for a few tips and tricks that work.
Common Causes of Bad Breath
All kinds of things contribute to bad breath, so I’ll only name a few here: Pre-menstrual hormonal changes that occur right before your monthly period; dry mouth and fasting, which both inhibit the flow of saliva; potent foods like garlic, cabbage and onions; genetics, where some people are more prone to bad breath than others; postnasal drip from colds and allergies; and improper, infrequent, or brief brushing.
What Can You Do?
- For starters you can be sure to visit your dentist at least once a year, but more frequently when your teeth need more attention as the result of, say, a cavity or gum infection. Of course, you can also avoid all that you can from the above list of “Common Causes of Bad Breath.”
- You should be brushing your teeth 3 times a day, but especially after every meal, and remember to floss daily as well. People often brush much too quickly and aren’t as thorough as they should be. You should be brushing in every crevice for at least 2 minutes, flossing, and rinsing thoroughly.
- Mouthwashes that contain alcohol should be avoided, since they only mask the odor for a short time and actually dry the mouth out, which leads to bad breath shortly after use. Hydrogen peroxide or salt water works great as a mouthwash.
- Millions of bacteria live on the tongue, and what mouthwashes don’t catch needs to be removed manually. Therefore, a plastic tongue scraper should be used during tooth brushing to scrape debris and bacteria from both the top and bottom of the tongue. After use the scraper should be rinsed in a hydrogen peroxide solution to keep it clean for the next use. Scraping with your toothbrush bristles isn’t as effective and can actually reapply bacteria from your teeth onto your tongue.
- Keep sugar-free gum and mints handy in case you need them, but chewing gum should be a last resort or not as often since the chewing action can corrode teeth and lead to cavities. Gum and mints keep your saliva flowing, which is good for controlling bad breath.
- Eat right and take care of your physical health as well. Sometimes bad breath is a warning sign that something is going on internally. You may have an illness or infection that you’re unaware of.
- Eating fibrous foods like apples, munching on parsley, and drinking water every chance you get helps to keep your breath fresh.