Halitosis, or bad breath, is an uncomfortable and embarrassing situation that nearly 80 million people face every day. Not only does that foul odor in your mouth hurt your confidence, but it could be damaging your oral health as well. Thankfully, a few simple but very effective improvements to your daily dental routine can keep your smile looking and feeling fresh. Your Beaufort dentist explains the five best ways to keep bad breath at bay.
1. Brush and floss more often
Plaque, the sticky buildup on your teeth, collects bacteria that cause bad breath. Trapped food also adds to the problem. Brush your teeth at least two times each day, and floss at least once. If you’re concerned about your breath, do both a little more often. Don’t overdo things, though. If you brush too hard you can wear down your teeth, making them vulnerable to decay.
2. Rinse your mouth out
Besides freshening your breath, a mouthwash adds extra protection by getting rid of bacteria. A fresh minty taste can make you feel good. But be sure the mouthwash you choose kills the germs that cause bad breath. Don’t just cover up the smell. Rinse daily with a good mouthwash and stop bad breath at its source.
You can also help your breath if you swish your mouth with plain water after you eat. It can get rid of food particles that get stuck in your teeth.
3. Brush your tongue
I’m always surprised by the number of people who don’t brush their tongue after brushing their teeth. After all, bad breath is caused by bacteria that lodges between teeth and in the folds of the tongue. Obviously, brushing and flossing your teeth is the most important part of an oral hygiene routine (and if you aren’t doing this, bad breath is the least of your worries!), but brushing your tongue is a key component of getting rid of bad breath. A tongue scraper is a perfect tool for removing plaque deposits from the tongue, but your toothbrush can also be used.
4. Eat Healthy & Avoid foods that sour your breath
A healthy diet which is full of green vegetables and fruits is an excellent way of ensuring optimal physical and dental health. In many ways, dental health is inseparable from overall health. But if you’re already eating healthy and are still experiencing bad breath, keep in mind that smelly foods like garlic and onion will affect your breath even after brushing your teeth. This is because the acid in onions, for example, actually gets into your bloodstream and the smell can persist for 24-48 hours.
If you’ve tried all these solutions and are still experiencing bad breath, it’s important that you call us for an appointment. You may have an undiagnosed infection, or some other underlying medical issue. Medical problems related to the nose, respiratory tract and the digestive system can also result in bad breath. If you feel that bad breath is not going away despite optimal oral hygiene maintenance, then there are chances that the problem has a medical cause. Get in touch with us and we can help!
5. Stop Smoking
Besides causing cancer, smoking can damage your gums, stain your teeth, and give you bad breath. Over-the-counter nicotine patches can help tame the urge. If you need a little help, make an appointment with your doctor to talk about quit-smoking programs or prescription medications that can help you give up tobacco for good.
6. Chew sugar free gum instead
The bacteria in your mouth love sugar. They use it to make acid. This wears down your teeth and causes bad breath. Chew sugarless gum instead. Gum stimulates saliva, which is the mouth’s natural defense mechanism against plaque acids, which cause tooth decay and bad breath.
7. Keep your gums healthy
Gum disease causes bad breath. Bacteria gather in pockets at the base of teeth, which creates an odor. If you have gum disease, your dentist may suggest you see a periodontist, who specializes in treating it.
8. Drink Plenty of Water
If your mouth feels dry, it probably is dry. And a dry mouth encourages the growth of bacteria, so keep your mouth moist with good hydration. Be aware that some medications, including antihistamines and diuretics, can cause a feeling of dry mouth that just drinking water won’t remedy. In those cases, look for mouthwashes and pastes designed for dry mouth sufferers.
9. Visit Your Dentist Regularly
Unfortunately, a variety of factors may cause bad breath, like a cracked filling, tooth decay, or gum disease. Your dentist can determine the root cause of your halitosis and help you treat it effectively. Occasionally, bad breath can be a warning sign of a larger underlying health concern like diabetes, kidney disease, or respiratory infection. Getting a dental checkup regularly can help you detect these issues as early as possible. However, the main goal of seeing your dentist routinely twice a year is to prevent bad breath and other oral health issues from developing in the first place!
We welcome new patients and look forward to helping you achieve the optimal oral health. To schedule an appointment in our Lady’s Island dentist office, contact us at (843) 986-0177 or feel free to use our online appointment form.