Bad breath is a very touchy and personal question. Nobody wants to discuss it willingly.
Dental hygiene is important but brushing your teeth twice a day, and chewing gum may not be enough. Even after such a daily routine, you may still have bad breath. But wait! No need to panic just yet.
There are scientifically proven cases of what may be the reasons behind bad breath. Let's find the root of the problem.
We have put together a list of dental hygiene do's and don'ts. Perhaps all you need to do is to adjust just one or two of your habits.
1. Drink plenty of water
Water is never a bad idea. A sufficient amount of water stimulates the flow of your saliva and helps to avoid dehydration, which is often a reason for halitosis, that's how scientists call bad breath.
Here is some simple and unusual advice. Make it a habit to have a few sips of water every time someone calls your name at school or work.
2. Don't drink too much coffee
We know that a sip of coffee seems vitally essential in the morning but don't be too keen on this drink. Did you know that caffeine could slow down saliva production and therefore, dry out your mouth? This will lead to bad breath odour.
It is better to drink a cup of tea during your lunch and dinner. One more piece of advice for spicy food lovers. Sipping green tea can also help to neutralize the scent of garlic. No more tough choices between enjoying your favourite dish or an embarrassment
free talk with the boss.
3. Clean your dentures
Caring for your dentures is as important as caring for your teeth, so you should treat them accordingly. Practice the same oral hygiene that you would with your original teeth. Make a habit of cleaning them at night to get rid of bacterial build-up from food.
4. Remember to floss after every meal
You should not neglect your gums. Any food particles which stay in between your teeth for too long a time, act in the same way as if you left your trash bin full, they stink.
The bacteria from food go deep below the gum line and may lead not only to bad breath but also to infection. That's why flossing is no less important than brushing your teeth.
What is more, it helps to remove the plaque, which potentially leads to the decay of your teeth and the disease of your gums. Besides, it's not a big deal, just a couple of minutes but the result is worth the time you spend on this process.
5. Change your toothbrush every three months
Time flies when we are busy, and we may not notice how quickly our toothbrush gets old. An old toothbrush may be as unsafe to use as merely adding more bacteria to your mouth. So, change your toothbrush regularly.
Do it once every three or four months depending on how frayed the bristles are. The time may vary, for example, if you wear braces, it will happen sooner.
Remember one more essential thing, change your toothbrush after a bout of flu, so you don't bring those old germs back to your body again.
6. Do not neglect your tongue
When you brush your teeth in the morning, remember to clean your tongue with the tongue scraper. You won't believe it, but it has been shown to reduce odour by up to as much as 70%.
How about this recommendation that can make your life much simpler? To kill two birds with one stone, you can get a toothbrush with a tongue and cheek cleaner in the back.
7. Go for alcohol-free mouthwash
Many brands of mouth rinse contain up to 27% of alcohol in their ingredients. It dries out your mouth. As a result, it brings in unpleasant smell after that minty freshness wears off within an hour.
Another danger of mouthwash containing alcohol can appear if teenagers use it. Let’s admit it, everybody accidentally swallows a bit or more of this liquid from time to time, but for schoolchildren, it's not only unpleasant but also unhealthy.
So, next time you shop for mouthwash check the label thoroughly to make sure alcohol is not listed. By the way, pay attention to the fact that mouthwash containing chlorhexidine may also stain your teeth over time.
8. Avoid Sugar Mints
Sugar is normally added to the mints people are so eager to take after a meal. You do so to freshen your breath, and you think that you've done the right thing, but unfortunately the situation is quite the contrary.
Sugar in these mints is exactly what helps the bacteria in your mouth to grow. An acid formed as a result is proved to eat away your teeth surface. How terrible is that! It might also make your bad breath worse once the gum or mint is gone.
Thus, we can conclude that sweetened fresheners are not for the long-run and are better off left out of your mouth. If you must use mints, opt for the sugar-free type.
9. Be aware of the medication you are taking
Such medications as antidepressants, painkillers and antihistamines may suppress saliva flow and can be the reason for a chronic dry mouth. So, remember to ask your doctor about the side-effects of any prescribed medications.
10. Reconsider your smoking habit
All the sources of mass media keep telling everybody ready to listen that smoking causes cancer and fatally damages the lungs.
But this danger seems vague and distant, so not every person is ready to give up a cigarette with a cup of morning coffee.
What if the problem caused by smoking is more tangible? Did you know that it can result in damaged gums, stains on the teeth, and bad breath? Smoking dries out your mouth while nicotine tends to squeeze blood vessels. As a result, you don't receive a healthy amount of saliva.
It is not too difficult to quit this habit with a bit of extra incentive. Try using nicotine patches at first, or visit your doctor to ask for their recommendations. The hardest is to start.
11. Eat more apples and other healthy food
When you crunch celery, apples, carrots, or similar food, it removes the remains of food stuck between the teeth. What is more, it rids them of bacteria that live on them.
More benefit is the fact that these products are very low in calories and rich in vitamins, so you can eat as much as you wish and not worry about gaining a couple of extra pounds.
12. Visit your doctor
If you have tried everything, followed all the recommendations, but bad breath still bothers you, probably it is time to visit an experienced dentist. Your condition might be caused by some illness, for example, a problem with the stomach.