Want to know how to get rid of bad breath? Here are the top dentist-approved remedies to cure bad breath.
It’s safe to say that bad breath is one of the most unattractive qualities a person can have. It can wreak havoc on your confidence, social life and performance at work. Fortunately, it’s relatively easy to cure by making a few modifications to your lifestyle. We’ll highlight some of the main causes of bad breath, dentist-approved fresh breath tips and actions you can take to cure bad breath for good.
Causes of Bad Breath
There are many factors that can cause bad breath, some of which are more obvious than others. A few of the predominant causes include:
- Diet – Coffee, soda, alcohol, garlic, onions, fish, spicy dishes and other foods with strong odors and acidity can affect your breath and cause it to smell bad. In addition, a diet that’s high in sugar may accelerate tooth decay and promote bad breath.
- Using tobacco products – Smoking or chewing tobacco are both terrible for your dental health. Not only does tobacco cause bad breath, but it can also stain teeth, contribute to gum disease and accelerate tooth decay.
- Poor dental hygiene – Irregular or insufficient brushing and flossing is a primary cause of bad breath. Bad breath can also be a warning sign of other dental issues such as cavities or gum disease.
- Dehydration and dry mouth – Saliva helps combat bad breath by cleansing the mouth of bacteria and food particles. When you are dehydrated, or if your mouth is dry (xerostomia), your body is unable to produce adequate saliva to cleanse the mouth, causing a foul smell/taste in your mouth.
What do all of these causes of bad breath have in common? They are treatable and easy to manage through basic lifestyle changes.
A Note About Halitosis
Halitosis is the medical term for chronic bad breath. Although halitosis is often correlated with poor dental hygiene or lifestyle choices, it may also arise due to certain medical conditions such as diabetes, kidney failure and respiratory infections.
Since chronic bad breath may be a sign of an underlying and more serious issue, it’s important to schedule an appointment with your dentist to pinpoint the cause of your halitosis and determine the best remedies for you.
Everyday Bad Breath Remedies
Winning the fight against bad breath can be more easily achieved through some daily maintenance. Here are some things you should do on a regular basis to cure bad breath.
Brushing – Brushing teeth is crucial for your dental health. A clean mouth is directly correlated with fresh breath, and the best way to achieve that is by brushing every morning and night. You may also want to consider brushing between meals if you’re especially concerned about your breath. Keep a travel toothbrush on-hand so you can brush on the go.
Flossing – While regular brushing does wonders for your dental hygiene, flossing is just as important. Dental floss goes where toothbrushes cannot and eliminates food particles that get trapped between the teeth and gums. Over time, these particles can accumulate and accelerate bacterial production, which can cause foul breath. Keeping up with regular flossing not only helps get rid of bad breath, but it can help combat gum disease, too.
Using mouthwash – A good mouthwash can help eliminate bacteria and cure bad breath. Be sure to look for a mouthwash that has antimicrobial properties to sufficiently cleanse the mouth, not just mask odor, for the best results. You’ll also want to be sure to avoid mouthwashes that contain alcohol as it can dry out your mouth and cause your breath to smell bad.
Scraping your tongue – Brushing your tongue and using a tongue scraper can help eliminate bacteria that lingers in the mouth especially after eating.
Avoiding certain foods and beverages – If you notice certain foods cause your breath to smell, try reducing your consumption or avoiding them entirely. Replace odorous or sugary foods with fresh fruits and vegetables, which serve as natural bad breath remedies by effectively cleansing the mouth. As a bonus, you’ll receive extra nutrients to improve your overall health.
Drinking more water – Because a dry mouth isn’t able to produce adequate saliva, it can cause your breath to smell bad. Drinking more water encourages saliva production and reduces the likelihood of having unpleasant breath.
If you have children at home, it’s important to teach them good dental hygiene habits early on to keep bad breath and other dental issues at bay.
How to Cure Bad Breath in the Long Term
The most important thing you can do to make sure your breath stays fresh is to keep up with your regular dental exams. Visiting your dentist twice a year ensures your mouth stays as healthy as possible. Dental caries (cavities), gum disease and other dental ailments can all contribute to bad breath.
In between dental checkups, be sure to keep up with daily brushing and flossing to keep your breath fresh and your mouth healthy. When you’re out and about, you can use breath spray, chewing gum or breath mints to keep your breath fresh on the go. Be sure the products you use are sugar-free, as sugar can contribute to dental issues such as tooth decay, which can lead to bad breath in the long run.
If you’d prefer a more natural route, chewing on parsley or mint leaves can help freshen breath (and give you extra nutrients, too). Essential oils such as peppermint and spearmint can also act as natural bad breath remedies and may last longer than standard mouthwash — just be sure to purchase food-grade oil to ensure safe consumption.
Again, making certain dietary changes is another great way to keep your breath fresh long-term. Avoid acidic, sugary and odorous foods and consume a diet that is rich in fresh veggies and fruit to ensure your breath stays as pleasant as possible. In addition, avoid or reduce consumption of alcoholic beverages, sodas and coffee and hydrate with water instead.
If you frequently experience bad breath and would like a professional consultation, make an appointment with us today. We’ll get to the root of your issue and offer you tailored bad breath advice and tips to keep your breath as fresh as possible.