It’s interview day. You’re wearing your best clothes; you’ve done your hair up nice. You’re feeling nervous and excited at the same time. After a quick check in the mirror, you jump in the car and drive on over to your destination.
On your way, you realize in all your nervousness you forgot to brush your teeth! Panic sets in when you can’t find any mints or gum in your car. You can’t stop at a convenience store or you’ll be late. But you can’t go in with bad breath! What do you do?
We’ve all been there. Bad breath can be extremely embarrassing, especially in social settings. But you’re not alone! 1 in 4 people suffers from bad breath or chronic halitosis.
Embarrassing as it is, there are plenty of ways to treat it. Fight bad breath with these tips while also keeping your dental health in tip-top shape.
1. Brush and Floss Your Teeth
The leading cause of bad breath is a lack of oral hygiene. It may seem obvious that brushing and flossing your teeth can help prevent bad breath, especially because toothpaste is usually mint flavoured, but it’s important to mention.
Plaque builds up on your teeth and under your gums. This is one of the leading causes of bad breath because it helps bacteria thrive within the mouth. The bacteria and other things like trapped food causes bad tastes and smells within the mouth.
It is recommended that you brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss at least once. However, if you still notice you have bad breath, you may want to consider doing both more often.
2. Use Mouthwash
According to one study, 38.1% of people have never used mouthwash and 17.5% use mouthwash less than once a month. Combined that means 55.6% does not use mouthwash regularly or at all.
There are a lot of benefits in using mouthwash from an oral health standpoint, including freshening your breath.
Mouthwash also helps prevent bad breath in the future by removing and protecting your teeth and gums from bacteria buildup. This is done by creating a thin invisible protective layer around the teeth and mouth.
3. Scraping Your Tongue
If you’ve never heard of this, it may sound quite odd, but it’s actually very beneficial in preventing bad breath.
Your tongue isn’t exactly a flat surface like a table is. It’s covered in tiny taste buds and folds that allow bacteria to hide and build up.
It’s important to remove that coating of residue with a tool called a tongue scraper. This tool is designed specifically to be gentle enough for the tongue while still providing a thorough cleaning.
Tongue scrapers can be found at any local drugstore but if you don’t have access to one, you can always just use your toothbrush and brush your tongue.
4. Foods to Avoid
Garlic and onions add tremendous flavour to meals, but we all know they can give us terrible breath. Even brushing doesn’t seem to get rid of it.
Why is that exactly? Well, the smells contain substances that enter through your bloodstream and into your lungs where you breathe it out. This is why brushing doesn’t seem to help.
The only real way of stopping it is to not eat them, or at least avoid people when you do.
Another food to avoid is after-dinner mints. You may be thinking that the mint will only benefit you by giving you fresh breath, but mints are mostly made up of sugar.
Bacteria thrives off sugar inside that mouth because they use it to make acid to wear down your teeth. This, in turn, causes bad breath.
It is actually much more beneficial to chew sugarless gum. Not only will it make your breath fresher, it lacks sugar for bacteria to use and it creates saliva inside the mouth which is the body’s natural defences against bacteria and plaque.
Tobacco is another thing to avoid for a number of reasons. Not only does it cause cancer, but it can also damage your gums and teeth, and gives you bad breath. There are tons of resources to help you quit including talking to your doctor personally to start the conversation.
5. Drink Water
It’s important to stay hydrated on a daily basis for your overall health, but it is also beneficial for your oral health.
By not drinking a sufficient amount of water (the recommended is 6-8 ounces per day), you may develop dry mouth.
Dry mouth can be the cause of tooth and gum decay as well as bad breath due to the lack of saliva in the mouth. Drinking water will help flush away odour causing bacteria and food particles. Chewing sugarless gum can help with this process as well.
Those suffering from chronic or severe dry mouth should consult their doctor about other options including saliva substitutes.
6. Talk to Your Doctor
If your bad breath still persists, it’s time schedule an appointment with your doctor. They will assess if your problem is related to medical conditions.
Want to learn more? Give us a call! We’d love to develop an oral care routine that’ll help you get rid of bad breath for good.