Bad Breath Remedies: Simple Ways to Freshen Up

Bad breath, also known as halitosis, may be caused by a number of factors. We all know that pungent foods such as onions or garlic can cause less-than-fresh breath, but dry mouth, periodontal disease and tobacco use can also contribute.

Bad breath can also be caused by bacteria that feed off of food particles and other debris that sticks to teeth, dental braces or dentures. Thorough brushing and flossing at least twice a day or after eating should take care of the offending odors. Paying specific attention to your tongue while brushing can also help eliminate odors since bacteria can cling to the tongue’s surface.

If you are concerned about having bad breath after eating, but do not have time to brush afterwards, chewing gum or sucking sugar-free candy can help stimulate saliva flow which helps wash away bacteria and debris.

What to Do Next

Drinking plenty of water and snacking on crunchy fruits and vegetables such as apples, celery and carrots can also prevent halitosis-causing bacteria from forming. If you smoke, bad breath is one of many health concerns that may affect your decision to quit. Since smoking can cause vitamin C deficiency, which could be contributing to your bad breath, taking a vitamin C supplement may help.

It is also important to understand that infamous bad breath causers – such as onions and garlic – often live up their reputations. Once you begin to digest them, their odor-causing chemicals are absorbed into your blood stream. As they travel through your circulatory system, they may be transferred to your lungs and become detectable in your breath. When this happens, you may be stuck with an unfortunate odor for two days no matter how often you use your toothbrush!

Products like breath sprays, mints and mouth wash are also great ways to mask bad breath on the run but will not treat its root cause and may wear off quickly. If you notice that you are developing chronic bad breath, it is a good idea to speak with your dentist.

If your halitosis is caused by periodontal disease, your dentist can offer a gum disease treatment to relieve symptoms or may refer you to a periodontist to address the underlying cause of your bad breath. If you are prone to heavy dental plaque build up, your dentist may recommend that you use a special antimicrobial mouthwash. Tooth decay can also cause bad breath, so consult your dentist if you don’t smell an improvement after a few days.


Clear the Clutter From Your Mouth in 5 Easy Steps

1. Get your teeth professionally cleaned.

When it comes to spring cleaning your home, you can do it yourself or hire a professional if you don’t have the time. But when it comes to cleaning your teeth thoroughly, seeing a professional is a necessity. We’re not saying brushing and flossing aren’t essential – but it’s only part of the equation. To get rid of the guck (aka plaque and tartar) that’s built up on your teeth, you’ll have to rely on the experts to do that. While some dentists do teeth cleanings themselves, they often turn to their dental hygienists to handle the job.

2. Change your toothbrush.

After using a toothbrush for about three months, the bristles become frayed and flattened — telltale signs that it’s time to get a new one. In fact, most dentists recommend changing your toothbrush every three months, if not sooner, depending on how soft or hard you brush. Also consider getting a toothbrush sanitizer like Zapi, which may kill up to 99 percent of toothbrush bacteria. Keep in mind that even if you invest in a sanitizer, you should still change your toothbrush every three months.
3. Put floss and mouthwash to work.
Most people have all the right tooth tools – toothbrush, floss and mouthwash – but many only use a toothbrush on a daily basis. If this sounds like you, spring is just as good a time as any to start using your floss and mouthwash. Flossing removes particles in between your teeth that brushing can’t reach. And mouthwash can give your mouth a truly clean feel. But proper flossing techniques are key; be sure to check out our “How to Floss” guide to find out if you’re doing it right.
Choosing the right kind of mouthwash is also important. Many dentists recommended using an alcohol-free mouthwash that won’t dry out your mouth. Mouthwash typically falls into two categories: cosmetic and therapeutic. Cosmetic mouthwashes mask bad breath and can help eliminate some mouth bacteria but have a limited overall effect on your dental health. Therapeutic mouthwashes can help fight periodontal disease and cavities and build tooth enamel. Be sure to consult your dentist about the best mouthwash for you!
4. Drink fluoridated water.
It’s well known that fluoride can help fight cavities. But most bottled waters don’t contain fluoride. On the other hand, many community water systems are fluoridated. So even if it’s not safe to drink your local water straight from the tap, it may be better to drink filtered tap water rather than bottled water. Drinking plenty of water also helps flush out the bacteria from your mouth.
5. Consider a teeth whitening treatment.
¬†While not technically “clutter,” tooth stains are something that most people want to get rid of. As part of your “spring revival,” you may want to consider treating yourself to a laser teeth whitening treatment. Laser teeth whitening treatments can literally transform your teeth from dull to dazzling, making your teeth 8-10 shades whiter in about an hour!
Remember, whether it’s been six months or six years since your last teeth cleaning, it’s never too late to get your dental health back on track.