Worried about bad breath? You’re not alone. Forty million Americans suffer from bad breath, or halitosis, according to the American Dental Hygienists’ Association. Here are some simple and effective ways to freshen your breath.
1. Brush and floss more frequently
One of the prime causes of bad breath is plaque, the sticky build-up on teeth that harbors bacteria. Food left between teeth adds to the problem. You brush at least twice a day and floss daily. If you’re worried about your breath, brush and floss a little more often. But don’t overdo it. Brushing too aggressively can erode enamel, making your teeth more vulnerable to decay.
2. Scrape your tongue
The coating that normally forms on the tongue can harbor foul-smelling bacteria. To eliminate them, gently brush your tongue with your toothbrush. Some people find that toothbrushes are too big to comfortably reach the back of the tongue. In that case, try a tongue scraper.
3. Ditch your smoking habit
Bad breath is just one of many reasons not to smoke. Smoking damages gum tissue and stains teeth. It also increases your risk of oral cancer.
4. Rinse your mouth out
In addition to freshening your breath, anti-bacterial mouthwashes add extra protection by reducing plaque-causing bacteria. After eating, swishing your mouth with plain water also helps freshen your breath by eliminating food particles.
5. Skip after-dinner mints and chew gum instead
Sugary candies promote the growth of bacteria in your mouth and add to bad breath problems. Instead, chew sugarless gum. Gum stimulates saliva and saliva is the mouth’s natural defense against plaque, which causes tooth decay and bad breath.
6. Keep your gums healthy
Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is a common cause of bad breath. Bacteria accumulate in pockets at the base of teeth, creating bad odors.
7. Be alert to dry mouth
Lack of saliva promotes tooth decay and can cause bad breath. If your mouth is dry, drink plenty of water during the day. Dry mouth is also often a side effect of certain medications.
8. Visit Krengel Dental
If your bad breath continues despite your best efforts, come see us! We can help identify the problem and provide a solution!