Bad breath is a common issue that affects people of all ages. It can be embarrassing, but it many cases it can also be avoided. Good oral hygiene habits make it harder for bacteria to accumulate in your mouth, lessening your chances of bad breath.
To keep your breath smelling fresh and clean, follow these tips:
Clean Your Tongue
Your tongue can harbor bacteria, food, and dead cells that cause bad breath. This is more likely to happen if you smoke or have a dry mouth. Avoid this issue by using your toothbrush or a tongue scraper to gently clean your tongue when you brush your teeth.
Brush Your Teeth Regularly
Brush your teeth for two minutes twice a day. The best time to do this is usually after eating.
Although regular brushing is a very important habit, it doesn’t clean your teeth well enough on its own. Use dental floss to remove food particles and reduce the number of bacteria and amount of plaque that forms in your mouth.
Avoid Dry Mouth
Saliva helps sweep food particles and bacteria away, so it helps prevent bad breath. You may not have enough saliva to do the job if you have a dry mouth. Make sure to drink plenty of water and avoid using alcohol and tobacco, which make your mouth drier. Chewing sugar-free gum can also help you produce more saliva and keep your mouth moist.
Modify your diet
Garlic, fish, and onions can cause odors that linger on your breath long after mealtime. Sugary foods, coffee, and alcohol can also cause bad breath, so limit your consumption of these foods and beverages.
Rinse with mouthwash
Using antiseptic mouthwash daily can help kill bacteria that can cause bad breath. It also usually comes in a minty flavor that also helps reduce odors. Mouthwash is not a replacement for brushing and flossing but should be used in addition to these habits.
Keep dentures or dental appliances clean
Follow your dentist’s instructions on caring for mouthguards, retainers, dentures, and other oral appliances. Removable dental bridges or dentures should be removed and cleaned nightly. If you have a fixed oral appliance, such as a fixed retainer, clean around it carefully to prevent food and bacteria from accumulating.
Visit your dentist regularly
While good at-home oral hygiene habits are important, they can’t replace regular dental visits. Have your teeth professionally checked and cleaned at least twice a year to remove bacteria, plaque, and tartar, all of which can cause bad breath.
You Can Stop Bad Breath
Bad breath is a common but avoidable problem. Good oral health habits can go a long way toward avoiding bad breath or fixing the problem if you already have it. Talk to your dentist if you have consistent bad breath even after following the tips outlined above.