How To Get Rid Of Bad Breath
No one likes to think they might have bad breath. It makes a person very self-conscious, but when it happens over and over, it could be a sign of oral problems and that needs to be checked out by a dental hygienist. Once you’ve ruled out gum disease, eliminating bad breath can be as simple as making a few simple changes to your dental health routine and including one or two foods in your diet for the best oral care.
What You Eat May Be The Culprit
Your body starts processing food the moment you put it into your mouth. Saliva contains enzymes that break down food during mastication or chewing. If you’ve eaten something with a strong odor, such as onions or garlic, you will end up dealing with bad mouth odor as their oils coat your mouth. It sticks around even after the food has been processed and no mouthwash is going to help. But, bad breath because of eating something pungent does not qualify as halitosis.
It is also important to know that although brushing and flossing won’t help eliminate the odor of certain foods, these practices certainly help ensure there are no food particles left in your mouth to promote bacterial growth. If your bad breath is the result of bacterial growth, the use of antibacterial mouth rinses may help.
However, you can also try some other tips to help get rid of bad breath.
1. Turn To Brushing And Flossing
If you are not brushing your teeth daily with a manual or electric toothbrush, you shouldn’t be complaining about dealing with bad breath, since it is the natural outcome. Brushing alone won’t help. You need to incorporate dental floss into your routine. Trapped food is a common cause of bad breath and brushing and flossing twice a day will help. Even so, going overboard with brushing can prove counterproductive and increase the likelihood of tooth decay by damaging the gums.
2. Pay Attention To Rinsing Your Mouth Properly
Using a good quality mouthwash not only freshens up your breath but also improves protection against bacteria – not to mention what a fresh minty taste does to make you feel good. Not all mouthwashes help though. Some of them are designed to cover up the smell and do nothing to eliminate the odor-causing bacteria. Whether you choose a mouthwash with alcohol or without, expect to pay more for a good mouthwash with effective active antibacterial ingredients rather than flavoring.
3. Be Sure To Scrape Your Tongue
If you do not scrape your tongue, it gathers a coating of bacteria each giving off a bad smell as a bi-product of feeding. Therefore, it is important to brush your tongue properly. Brushes work but if it fails to reach the back of your tongue, you can always buy a tongue scraper. A scraper works best because it applies even pressure throughout the surface of your tongue and ensures proper removal of food debris, bacteria, and dead cells.
4. Say No To Smoking
No matter what remedies you try, bad mouth odor will refuse to go away if you keep smoking. Although it is easier said than done, get rid of your tobacco habit. Smoking stains teeth, damages gums, and contributes to bad breath.
5. No More After-Dinner Mints
If you’re under the impression that mints can help prevent bad mouth odor, you’re wrong, especially if you like them after dinner. Bacteria in your mouth will be active after you eat and they just love sugar. Mints provide them with all the sugar they need to make acid. This damages your teeth and adds to bad breath. A better option is to chew gum – sugarless of course. It will help stimulate saliva and improve protection against plaque acids.
6. Ensure You’re Not Dealing With A Gum Disease
Sometimes, the underlying cause of bad breath is gum disease, which damages the base of the teeth, resulting in the development of small pockets. These pockets serve as perfect hideouts for odor-causing bacteria. Work with your dentist to treat gum disease and ultimately, get rid of your bad breath.
7. Try Home Remedies To Rid Your Mouth Of Bad Breath
Besides taking preventive measures, you can also take steps to treat bad breath. Here are some home remedies to help.
- Try parsley: The fresh scent of parsley and its high chlorophyll content can work wonders for the treatment of bad breath. It is capable of dealing with even the foulest sulfur compounds. Simply chewing on fresh parsley after a meal will do the trick.
- Drink pineapple juice: While there is not enough scientific evidence to support it, many people believe that you can treat bad breath with pineapple juice. Chewing on pineapple slices for a couple of minutes or drinking pineapple juice after a meal, will help prevent bad mouth odor. Be sure to rinse your mouth after you drink the juice to get rid of sugars in it.
- Drink plenty of water: The idea is to keep your mouth from drying up, which provides bacteria with a chance to grow and cause bad breath. Saliva is a natural defense against bacteria and mouth dryness can hamper the whole process. Drink plain water to keep your body hydrated and promote saliva production. Going for eight glasses of water a day usually works.
- Try yogurt: Yogurt is an impressive source of healthy bacteria that work by outnumbering bad bacteria in your gut, and that helps reduce bad breath. Studies show that eating yogurt for six weeks can lead to an 80% reduction in bad breath. All you have to do is have one serving of plain low-fat yogurt every day to enjoy its benefits.
- Drink milk: Milk can help a lot with bad mouth odor, especially if you’re worried about garlicky breath. Simply drink a glass of full fat or low-fat milk after your meal.
- Try anise seeds: You can use fennel or anise seeds to prevent bad breath. Roasted fennel seeds serve as effective mouth fresheners and help cleanse your breath after dinner. You can eat them plain or lightly coated with sugar.
- Eat orange: Oranges are much more than a healthy dessert. They fight bad breath by promoting dental hygiene. They work if your bad breath is the result of a lack of saliva in your mouth. Vitamin C promotes saliva production, which in turn, helps eliminate bad breath.
- Drink green tea: Antioxidants found in green tea offers many health benefits, but it also has potent deodorizing and disinfectant properties. It works like mint, which is why a cup of green tea can help a lot in preventing bad odors. A great remedy is to brew two cups of green tea and refrigerate it before going to bed. Pour it into a water bottle in the morning and drink it slowly throughout the day for great results.
8. Try Homemade Mouthwash
Mouthwash can help improve bad breath, but sometimes, it is counterproductive if it contains alcohol which can be too harsh for some people. Therefore, it makes great sense to try homemade mouthwash. Here are a couple of options:
Use baking soda to make your own mouthwash at home. Baking soda has strong antibacterial properties, so it helps fight bad odor. Take a cup of warm water and add a couple of teaspoons of baking soda to it. Mix well and swish it around in your mouth for about 30 seconds. Then, spit it out.
Using vinegar to make homemade mouthwash may also prove effective against bad breath mainly because it contains acetic acid. Take a cup of water and add a couple of teaspoons of apple cider vinegar to it. Mix well and use the mixture to gargle for 30 seconds. Don’t swallow.
If you know you are especially susceptible to bad breath, prevention is always going to be better than a cure. Being aware of the problem is part of the battle. Whether you go for chewing your parsley garnish or invest in a state of the art tongue scraper, the battle for fresh breath is a battle you can win. It just takes finding the remedy that works most efficiently for you and making sure you stick with it as part of your oral health routine.
- Bad Breath Symptoms And Causes – Mayo Clinic
- Dental Health and Bad Breath – WebMD
- Everything You Need To Know About Bad Breath – Medical News Today