Halitosis or ‘bad breath‘ can be caused by many different factors – some temporary and easy to fix, while others are more chronic and require greater intervention. To help you stay minty-fresh, here are some quick ways to fix bad breath!
1. Brush Your Teeth More
Really you should only need to brush your teeth 2-3 times a day, but if you’re eating or drinking substances that cause bad breath, you may want to get the toothbrush out afterwards.
Brushing will do two things – it gets rid of the food built up from meals and removes bacteria from your teeth and mouth that cause bad breath. Just don’t brush too much! Excessive brushing could damage your teeth and gums.
2. Avoid Odorous Foods Like Onion and Garlic
These common culprits, along with leeks, shallots, and chives, will cause bad breath thanks to the sulphuric compounds found within. These sulphuric compounds can even work their way into your bloodstream until you exhale and sweat them out!
3. Limit Coffee Intake
There are three reasons coffee can give you bad breath:
- It has a naturally strong odour (and milk doesn’t help!);
- Coffee is high in sulphur; and
- Caffeine limits saliva production.
It can be hard to stop coffee but if you’re noticing persistently bad breath, try to limit to once or twice a day.
4. Keep Your Mouth Moisturised
A dry mouth is a smelly mouth (think of when you first wake up). No saliva in the mouth has the effect of not washing away bacteria and food debris, and it starts breaking down and releasing an odour. The more you rinse your mouth out, the better your breath should be.
5. Stop Smoking
Smoking can lead to the well known “smoker’s breath”, which is caused by a number of factors:
- Smoke particles are left in the throat and lungs.
- The chemicals in tobacco linger in the mouth (and there’s a lot of them…).
- Tobacco dries the palate, and leads to chronic bad breath.
- Long term smoking can coat teeth with tartar and also cause gum disease, leading to bad breath.
6. Don’t Drink Alcohol
Excessive consumption will cause bad breath and the cause of this is best explained by how the body treats the toxin. Alcohol will be converted primarily into acetic acid, some of which is excreted in the sweat and out through the lungs. Some drinks are worse than others – the more odour in the drink, the more prominent the breath – think dark liquors, cocktails and dark beers.
7. Floss Often
Plaque and bacteria can build up in difficult to reach areas of your teeth, and as mentioned, over time that bacteria will release odours resulting in bad breath.
Flossing often will remove harder to reach bacteria and food particles and aid in improving your breath.
8. Chew Sugarless Gum
Any type of chewing will increase saliva flow and wash away bacteria and food debris left over from meals, and sugarless gum will help to ensure you can maintain saliva without needless snacking throughout the day.
9. Ketogenic Diets
That’s right, the cure all diet that will make you lose weight by eating fat (and limiting carbs) will also make your breath stink – why? The ketones you create (or more specifically acetone) is excreted in the urine and breath. But don’t worry, usually after two weeks, your body should be used to being in ketosis and the bad breath should subside.
10. The Paleo Diet
The paleo diet also limits carbs but requires one to load up on protein. An increase in protein in the body can cause smelly breath – the mechanism being an increase in ammonia.
11. Get a New Toothbrush Every 3 months
A good toothbrush will only last around three months; any longer and the bristles become frayed and won’t be cleaning your teeth effectively. Poor cleaning will allow plaque and bacteria build up in your mouth and gums and lead to bad breath.
12. Brush Your Tongue!
It might feel weird, but it’s worth it. Your tongue is as big a receptacle for bacteria as your teeth are. Brush it well to get into the buds and crevices where rinsing with water simply won’t work.
13. Get Regular Dental Check Ups
A regular dental visit will allow our dental team to identify and provide remedies for any issues that are leading to bad breath. The oral hygienist will also give your teeth a professional clean, getting rid of that hard to reach bacteria.
14. Snack on a Carrot or Celery Stick
Eating a crispy vegetable will increase saliva flow in your mouth and get rid of bacteria that’s built up between meals. Additionally, acid build up in your stomach between meals causes bad breath – having healthy snacks in between meals can negate this acid build up.
15. Clean Your Dentures
Just as uncleaned natural teeth can cause bad breath, so can false teeth. Not only do the dentures themselves need a good clean but also the gums which they reside on – it’s mainly in these hidden areas inside the mouth where food can become trapped and allow bacteria build up. Brush the area thoroughly and make sure any denture adhesive is replaced.
Stick to the above tips and you shouldn’t have any issues with bad breath again. If you’re still struggling with it, a visit to Underwood Dental Care will be the best way to help you diagnose and fix the problem, once and for all!