Keep Your Mouth In Top Condition
Keeping your mouth smelling sweet is more than just popping a mint. You need to maintain a healthy oral hygiene routine if you want to avoid taking someone’s breath away – for all the wrong reasons.
From the way floss to the toothpaste you use, how you look after your dental hygiene will ensure you keep it fresh all day long. We put the dentist spotlight on the 10 steps you need to brush up on to combat bad breath and keep your mouth in top condition all day.
1. Don’t Go To Bed Without Brushing Your Teeth
To keep your mouth a pleasant place all day you need to give it a head start. So, while it may sound obvious (and yukky) you should never go to bed without cleaning those pearly whites. Resist the lure of your pillow and give your teeth a thorough end-of-the-day brush and you not only reduce the pong of morning breath but put any nasty bacteria to bed. A final brush before bedtime will get rid of the germs and plaque that have built up on your teeth during the day, helping to give your mouth a fresh start in the morning.
2. Brush Your Teeth Properly
We all know that you should brush your teeth at least twice a day. But it’s not just about how often, it’s how you do it that counts. Bad brushing technique can leave your mouth less than pleasant as the day wears on.
The trick to effective brushing is to take your time – at least two minutes to do a top cleaning job and use small, circular movements to sweep plaque, germs and general mouth grime away. Many dentists also recommend using an electric toothbrush with a medium brush head for really effective brushing as they can get to those places manual brushes can miss. And it’s important to remove plaque, which can harden if left and lead to gum disease, not a good look. But don’t brush too aggressively as you could damage your teeth enamel and gums. And when it comes to your toothpaste– particularly if it’s a toothpaste for bad breath – always make sure it contains fluoride, which tackles the germs that cause a less than the fresh mouth.
3. Get Yourself A Flossing Habit
How good is your floss? No, we’re not talking about that frustrating dance craze but the way you whip away the gunk between your teeth with dental floss. If this is not a habit you already have, get on it as regular flossing can really help the health – and freshness – of your teeth and gums.
Flossing once a day is enough to reap the clean mouth rewards and you can use floss, tape, ready-to-use dental flossers or interdental brushes – whatever feels most comfortable and easy to do. Flossing should be an essential part of your daily teeth cleaning routine as it eliminates bacteria and the build-up of plaque.
4. Don’t Neglect Your Tongue
In your morning tooth-cleaning frenzy, it’s easy to overlook your tongue and then wonder why your breath starts to get a little stinky later in the day. One of the most important aspects of proper dental hygiene is keeping your tongue clean. Plaque can build up on your tongue and if left, will lead to bad mouth odor as well as an unpleasant-looking white coat on the surface. A gentle tongue scrub with your toothbrush as part of your mouth cleaning routine will work wonders. You can even get a handy tongue scraper and lick that bad breath once and for all.
5. Make The Most Of Mouthwash
Rinsing with mouthwash can also really help with your oral health, especially if bad breath has started to become a problem. Not only can mouthwash refresh your breath, but it keeps your mouth nice and moist, which will help your saliva wash away any nasty bacteria.
The trick to using mouthwash is to get the right formulation – go for alcohol-free and make sure the product is right for your teeth, especially if they are sensitive. And don’t use straight after brushing but leave for 10-20 minutes otherwise you will be rinsing all the fluoride and other good stuff from your toothpaste away.
6. Drink More Water
We’ve all suffered from a dry mouth, and so will know the less than the fresh oral feeling when you are dehydrated. A well-lubricated mouth is essential for all-round dental hygiene and to keep your breath fresh so make sure you are drinking enough water every day.
Fresh, still water keeps the bacteria in your mouth under control by ensuring it is sufficiently moist. The bad news is that your can of soda is having the reverse effect as fizzy drinks contain phosphoric acid and citric acid that can dry out your mouth and also eat away at your precious tooth enamel. Swap soda for still water and your mouth will thank you for it!
7. Cut Back On The Sugar And ‘Bad Breath Foods’
A sweet tooth is not a good thing, so cut back on the sugar if you want to keep your mouth fresh, happy and healthy. The white stuff actually feeds bacteria and converts into acid in the mouth, which can erode your teeth and lead to the dreaded cavities. Acidic fruits and teas can also wear down your tooth enamel. While you don’t have to cut sugar out altogether, it is a good idea to cut back and make sure you clean your teeth thoroughly afterward.
To really keep bad breath in check, it’s also a good idea to reduce or avoid the main food culprits, especially if you have an important meeting or a hot date. These include garlic, onions, dairy, and coffee. And there’s nothing worse for smelly breath than tobacco, so if you are a smoker, now’s the time to quit.
8. Go For The Healthy Crunch
Good food can help keep your teeth clean and your breath smelling sweet, so for a happy mouth, crunch on fruit and veg. Some of the best foods to prevent bad breath are green vegetables, which counteract the bacteria-causing acid and crunchers such as apples, carrots, and celery, which work a bit like a toothbrush and sweep away food and plaque from your teeth.
9. Visit Your Dentist Regularly
For good oral hygiene, prevention is much better than cure so to keep your mouth fresh and happy, make sure you don’t skip your trip to the dentist. You should be getting a dental check-up twice a year and if the thought of the dentist chair fills you with dread – remember, they don’t bite! In fact, your dentist is essential in maintaining your oral health and keeping everything looking and smelling sweet. Not only can your dentist remove stubborn plaque and give your teeth a deep clean, but they can also ensure you catch any issues such as gum disease or tooth decay before they – and your breath – become a real problem.
10. Fresh Breath On The Go
If you follow a regular dental hygiene routine, your mouth should be in tip-top condition but there’ll be times during the day when your breath may need a helping hand. When you are in need of a quick, mouth bacteria-busting fix, reach for the sugar-free gum or mints. Mint and gum help to tackle bad breath on the go by stimulating saliva, washing away food debris and bacteria. If you want a more natural approach, then opt for fresh mint or parsley leaves and chew a few when needed. Parsley, in particular, is a bit of a sweet breath wonder as it contains chlorophyll, which kicks stinky sulfur compounds to the curb. Just don’t forget to do a mirror check to ensure you’re not left with green teeth!