Bad breath, or halitosis, can be embarrassing, especially when it occurs in public. But luckily, there are a few things you can do to freshen your breath.
By practicing good oral hygiene habits, you can greatly improve your chances of eliminating bad breath and preventing it from coming back in the future.
Brushing and flossing daily is the most effective way to prevent bad breath and maintain good oral health. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste to clean your teeth twice a day for at least two minutes each time. Brush the front and back of teeth, as well as chewing surfaces. The tongue should also be brushed to remove odor-causing bacteria from its surface. Add a tongue scraper to your oral hygiene routine to get a deep clean from rough areas of the tongue.
You can also use an antimicrobial mouth rinse to freshen your breath after brushing. Mouthwash helps fight plaque buildup in your mouth, keeping your mouth clean and fresh. Rinse the mouthwash around your entire mouth for one minute and then spit it out.
Dental floss helps to remove food from between teeth that brushing can't reach. This helps prevent plaque buildup. The bacteria in plaque are one of the main causes of bad breath. When you don't floss, all that bacteria stays in your mouth and contributes to your bad breath problem.
(Tip: Try using a water flosser instead of a string floss. Water flossers help remove debris and food stuck in hard-to-reach places.)
If you brush and floss your teeth daily but still notice your breath smells bad, it may be due to a dirty tongue. Food particles can accumulate on your tongue and cause bad breath. To combat this, use a scraper or spoon after you've brushed your teeth to scrape any leftover food off your tongue before you go to bed each night. To prevent bacteria from building up on your toothbrush after each brushing, rinse your toothbrush with water and store it upright to air dry. This will keep your toothbrush clean between uses and reduce the chance for bacteria to grow.
It is important to clean dentures and dental appliances daily to avoid bad breath. These should be cleaned with a denture brush and water or a cleaning solution recommended by your dentist.
A dry mouth occurs when your saliva glands don't produce enough saliva to keep the mouth wet and wash away bacteria that cause bad breath. Common causes of dry mouth include dehydration, smoking, medication, stress, diet, and other factors. Your saliva helps rinse away the food particles that would otherwise cause gum disease and tooth decay. Saliva also helps neutralize acids produced by oral bacteria. Without enough saliva, these acids can break down the enamel of the teeth, causing cavities.
If your mouth is dry, try drinking more water throughout the day. You can also chew sugar-free gum or suck on sugarless candies to stimulate the production of saliva.
Make sure you buy a new toothbrush every three to four months. When bristles start to wear down or fray, it's time to replace your brush and get a new one. Otherwise, your toothbrush won't be able to clean your teeth properly, which can lead to bad odor and bacteria growth in the mouth. Get a soft-bristled toothbrush that won't irritate your gums. Replace electric toothbrushes when the heads get worn down, usually every few months. Your dentist can recommend the best type of toothbrush for you based on your age, oral health needs, and budget.
Our staff at Woodruff Family Dental is available to assist you and your entire family in taking care of your oral health. Call (870) 972-8190 to schedule your appointment as soon as possible. Come see us at 2800 Enterprise Cv, Jonesboro, AR 72401, or send us an email.