Bad breath is one of the most common concerns our patients have, and can be a source of great embarrassment. We share our best tips and advice to keep your breath fresh throughout the day!
- Keep your teeth clean.
Brushing twice a day and flossing once per day is the most essential step in maintaining fresh breath. The build-up of food and bacteria over the day will certainly begin to cause less than fresh breath. This also applies to dentures if you wear them.
- Don’t forget your tongue!
The same build-up that forms on your teeth can also grow on the surface of the tongue. You may notice this as a white coating on the tongue, though things like smoking or coffee can often stain this brown. Make sure you spend a moment at the end of your tooth brushing to scrape over your tongue in a back-to-front motion with your toothbrush to clean it.
- Avoid Breath Unfriendly Foods.
They have a bad reputation for a reason! Strong tasting foods like onions, garlic, spices and some fish can leave a lingering smell on the breath for many hours after consumption. This is particularly if you eat them in high volume. It doesn’t mean you have to cut them out of your diet completely, but perhaps avoid garlic-laden food right before that job interview or date!
- Reduce smoking.
Cigarettes are full of chemicals that have pungent smells, and smoking will not only stain your tongue but cause a smell that lingers in the mouth and can be smelt by others. It is worth noting that smoking also predisposes you to increased gum disease and other oral diseases, which will also contribute to bad breath. Remember, there is no bad time to reduce or quit your smoking!
- Stay hydrated.
Sipping on plain water during the day will help rinse away food, keeping the mouth lubricated, and keep you hydrated overall. Sub in water to replace sports drinks, soft drinks, flavoured milk, or lots of juice to avoid acid wear of the teeth and keep your mouth clean.
- Sugar-free gum.
Chewing sugar-free gum will stimulate more saliva into the mouth. Like water, this will keep your mouth lubricated and rinse away build-up during the day, but saliva has the added benefit of containing acid-buffering and anti-bacterial ingredients which will also act to freshen the breath naturally.
Alternatively use solid sugar-free mints or breath strips if you have jaw-joint issues and constant chewing will cause pain or issues for you!
- Visit the dentist.
It is also worth going for a check-up with your dentist if it has been awhile, or if you have a bad smelling breath that you can’t seem to shift. Current gum disease or decay represent infections of bacteria in the mouth which will begin to change your breath. Other causes could be conditions such as reflux, tonsil stones, or tonsillitis.