Bad breath, also known as halitosis, is a common problem. In fact, according to the American Dental Association (ADA), studies show that 50% of the adult population have had bad breath at least once in their lives.
Though this condition can be embarrassing, it is usually not a sign of a serious health condition. There are many possible causes of bad breath and many ways to get rid of it. This blog post will explore five different ways.
1. Practice Good Oral Hygiene
This one should go without saying, but good oral hygiene is the best way to combat bad breath. This is because it helps to remove bacteria and plaque from the teeth and gums. Plaque, a sticky film that forms on the teeth, is a breeding ground for bacteria. Bacteria produce bad-smelling compounds called Volatile Sulphur Compounds (VSCs), which are responsible for most cases of bad breath.
So, if you want to keep your breath smelling fresh, be sure to brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss once a day. There is more than one way to do this properly, but here are a few basics that everyone should follow.
- Use a toothbrush that has soft bristles. Hard bristles can damage the teeth and gums.
- Brush the teeth for two minutes. This may seem like a long time, but it is necessary to remove plaque and bacteria from all teeth surfaces.
- Use a circular motion when brushing. This will help to remove plaque and bacteria from the teeth and gums.
- Brush on the inside surfaces of the teeth as well as the outside surfaces.
On the other hand, there are many types of floss available, so find one that works best for you. Some people prefer waxed floss, while others prefer unwaxed floss. Some people find that dental flossers work better than traditional floss. Whatever type of floss you choose, be sure to use it daily.
2. Visit the Dentist Regularly
Regular trips to your trusted dental clinic can also help keep your mouth healthy and your breath fresh. This is because dentists can remove plaque and tartar from your teeth, which will help to reduce the amount of bacteria in your mouth. In addition, dentists can also detect other problems that may be causing bad breath, such as gum disease or tooth decay.
If you are due for a dental appointment, schedule one as soon as possible. And, if you have any concerns about your breath, be sure to bring it up with your dentist during your appointment.
3. Quit Smoking
Smoking is one of the leading causes of bad breath. This is because cigarettes contain thousands of chemicals, including ammonia and nicotine. These chemicals can cause the mouth to dry out, which leads to bad breath.
In addition to causing bad breath, smoking also increases your risk for gum disease, which can also lead to halitosis. Smoking not only damages the gums, but it also damages the tissues and bones that support the teeth. This can lead to tooth loss and other dental problems.
If you smoke and have trouble quitting, many resources are available to help you kick the habit for good.
4. Avoid Certain Foods
Some foods are more likely to cause bad breath than others. These include highly processed foods, spicy foods, and garlic. This is because they contain strong-smelling compounds that are released when digested. These compounds can linger in the mouth and cause halitosis.
In addition, highly processed foods and sugary snacks tend to ferment in the mouth, which releases unpleasant-smelling compounds. If you suffer from bad breath, try avoiding these foods or at least brushing your teeth after eating them.
5. Drink Plenty of Water
Staying hydrated is vital for overall health and can also help with bad breath. A dry mouth is a common cause of halitosis because when the mouth is dry, there is less saliva to wash away food particles and bacteria. Bacteria thrive in an environment that is moist and dark, so a dry mouth creates the perfect conditions for them to grow.
Be sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day. If your mouth feels particularly dry, consider chewing some sugar-free gum or sucking on sugar-free hard candies to stimulate saliva production.
6. Use a Tongue Scraper
On a final note, it is also worth considering that your tongue can harbor bacteria that contribute to bad breath. To clean your tongue and freshen your breath, use a tongue scraper or brush once a day after brushing your teeth. Gently scrape the surface of your tongue until it feels clean, and rinse off the scraper or brush after each use.
Bad breath is a common problem, but it is usually not serious, and several things can help get rid of it. Practice good oral hygiene habits, visit the dentist regularly, quit smoking if you can, avoid certain foods that may cause bad breath, drink plenty of water throughout the day, and use a tongue scraper once daily. By following these tips, you can freshen your breath and feel more confident about your smile!