Last week I shared with you ‘causes of bad breath’ and today, I would share my research on how to get rid of them.
- Brush your teeth twice a day – Correct and regular brushing is very important to keep your breath smelling fresh.
- Brush or scrape your tongue – A soft rubber wiper called a tongue scraper can remove bacteria at the back of the tongue, which brushing can miss. 90% of the bacteria that causes bad breath live on the tongue! Scrape the tongue with a spoon or tongue scraper.
- Floss your teeth – Brushing alone only cleans up to about 60% of the surface of your teeth. Flossing removes food trapped between teeth, which would otherwise turn stale and smelly.
- Use an antibacterial mouthwash – The best time to use mouthwash is just before bedtime. There are many different types of mouthwash. Most are alcohol-based. Alcohol can dry out or irritate your mouth, so if you have problems, switch to an alcohol-free brand that contains chlorhexidine or hydrogen peroxide. To stop bad breath, we have to kill the bacteria that cause gum disease. Kill the bad bugs by applying a safe, organic antibacterial on the tongue after scraping.
- Choose your gum carefully – Any gum will help with bad breath because the chewing action results in more saliva being produced and stops your mouth drying out. Some gums, however, have better bad-breath-fighting abilities than others. Use sugar-free gum. Note that gum is not a substitute for proper oral hygiene. Always clean your teeth thoroughly, even if you’ve chewed gum.
- Eat a banana – You probably already know to avoid notorious stink foods like onions, garlic, cheese, and coffee (or at least brush vigorously after eating them). But did you know that if you’re on a low-carb diet, you might have “ketone breath”? Basically, as your body breaks down fats instead of carbs for energy, it creates ketones, some of which are released in your mouth. Unfortunately, ketones smell bad, and so will your breath. If you’re on a strict carb-restricting diet, or any diet that forces you to burn fat instead of carbs, consider throwing healthy carb-rich snacks into the mix, like apples or bananas. In addition, fruits with high vitamin C content will help you fight potentially harmful bacteria, which can be a cause of bad breath. This will also happen to anyone who fasts, whether for religious reasons, or because they are anorexic. If you are anorexic, bad breath is only one of the reasons to stop starving yourself.
- Keep your mouth moisturized – A dry mouth is a stinky mouth. That’s why your breath is worse in the morning; your mouth produces less saliva as you sleep. Saliva is the enemy of bad breath because not only does it physically wash bacteria and food particles away, but it also has antiseptic and enzymes that kill bacteria. Drink water. Swish the water between your teeth from side to side. Water won’t necessarily increase saliva production, but it’ll wash out your mouth — and it’s good for you.
Dry mouth can be caused by certain medications and medical conditions. Ask your doctor about switching medications, or addressing the underlying condition
- Quit smoking – If you smoke, your breath is likely to smell of stale smoke. Smoking cigarettes also increases your risk of getting gum disease, which is another cause of bad breath.
- Have a check-up with your dentist at least once a year – It’s a chance to have a deep clean of your teeth and review your oral hygiene practices. You’ll also get a definitive answer on whether you’ve got bad breath.
If you have persistent bad breath, try keeping a diary of all the foods you eat, and list any medicines you’re taking. Take this diary to your dentist – they may be able to suggest ways to solve the problem.
If your breath doesn’t improve no matter what you do, you might not even have bad breath. Some people are convinced they have bad breath when they don’t. This is a condition known as halitophobia.
People with halitophobia are paranoid about the smell of their breath. They become fixated with cleaning their teeth, chewing gum and using mouth fresheners.
And there you have it. They are quite simple right? Next week, I will share tips on how to tell people they have bad breath. 😀
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