Bad breath can ruin your day. It lowers your self-confidence, can make you anxious at a work event or encourage you to go home early on your only night out. Fortunately, bad breath isn’t an accident – which means you can take steps to prevent it! Instead of temporarily masking bad odors with mouthwash and sprays, consider these 9 fresh breath tips to give yourself a lifetime of better breath.
If you smoke, all the fresh breath tips in the world may not be able to help. The chemicals used in cigarettes, from tobacco to additives, all combine to leave behind a distinctive and unpleasant odor. No reasonable amount of brushing or mouthwash will ever get rid of it as long as you continue to smoke.
While it’s never easy to simply “stop smoking,” smoking cessation tips and help are available through your doctors and online. It may be difficult, but it’s easier now than it’s ever been. More importantly, fresh breath won’t be the only benefit of smoking cessation. Side-effects of smoking, from dry mouth to your sense of taste and overall health will all improve the longer you stay away from cigarettes!
Brush & Floss Regularly
There’s no making up for regular dental care when it comes to keeping your breath fresh. If you skip brushing and flossing, bacteria will continue to spread throughout your mouth, hardening into plaque and tartar. These bacteria contribute to general bad breath, worsening over time.
In addition to bacteria, food particles trapped between your teeth can contribute to off-putting breath. Those same food particles can also feed bacteria, doubling down on the odors of acidic bacteria build-up.
Remember to Brush Your Tongue
Your teeth and gums aren’t the only part of your mouth that needs brushing. Bacteria in your mouth will try to survive anywhere – including your tongue! Some people suffer chronic bad breath brush and floss regularly, wondering why it doesn’t solve their problem. The alternative causes could be many things, but often, tongue bacteria is one of them. Especially since any exhaling or speaking forces air over your tongue, spreading the odor outward as you speak.
Fortunately, cleaning your tongue is even easier than brushing or flossing. Tongue scrapers are simple tools that let you quickly and thoroughly scrape bacteria from your tongue in just a few passes. You’ll be surprised by how much it removes – particularly if you’ve never scraped your tongue before!
Find Solutions for Dry Mouth
Dry mouth, also known as xerostomia, is a common dental problem with its own list of causes and problems. Chronic dry mouth makes it easier for bacteria to thrive in your mouth and simultaneously reduces your body’s natural ability to wash away loose food particles.
Saliva’s role in balancing your mouth’s pH levels is a necessary part of reducing inflammation and bacterial growth. If you have dry mouth, your lack of saliva will contribute to worsening breath.
The causes of xerostomia can vary. If you consistently have dry mouth, speak with your dentist to look for solutions. Not only will your breath improve, solving dry mouth will also benefit your general oral health!
Avoid Odorous Foods
An obvious fresh breath tip is to avoid foods that have strong odors. Onions, garlic and other foods with powerful smells will mask even the freshest breath for possibly hours! Of course, this doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the foods; their effects aren’t permanent nor are they damaging.
However, if you plan to go out for the night, have an important business meeting or event, it’s best to avoid them. The effect they have on your breath may be temporary, but it’s very powerful – attempts to mask it with mouthwash or excessive brushing won’t accomplish much.
Keep a Travel Dental Kit
On the road? Whether for business or pleasure, you should always keep a travel dental kit nearby whenever you travel. Bad breath is a compounding issue. The longer you go without brushing and flossing, the worse it will get. Every person is different, but if you skip brushing for just one day, you could start to notice an unpleasant smell when you speak. Your acquaintances sure will!
A travel dental kit is easy to pack. All you need is a lightweight pouch with a basic toothbrush, floss and toothpaste. If you have a tongue scraper or use mouthwash, you can include those too. Many brands of toothpaste and mouthwash often sell smaller travel sizes that are perfect for the road. Travel sizes are also generally small enough to meet with airline guidelines for liquids, so you can use your preferred toothpaste without paying exorbitant tourist-trap prices when you land!
Don’t Skip Your Checkup!
Thousands of people every year cancel dental checkups because they don’t have toothaches or other obvious problems. Don’t be one of them! A routine dental exam and x-ray aren’t just about keeping you comfortable, they’re your best way to identify potential problems before they hit critical mass. Cavities, oral cancer and gum disease are all things your dentist can find months or years before you may notice symptoms.
Preventing any illness or disease in your mouth also prevents repulsive breath. Do yourself a favor make it a priority to see your dentist for any recommended checkup.
Swap Mints for Gum
After-dinner mints may not be as common as they once were, but they’re still popular. Some restaurants even hand them out with your check! But your best bet to maintain fresh breath is to say no to the mint and chew sugarless gum instead.
While mints may have, as the name implies, a minty taste and smell, it’s very short-lived. It rarely freshens your breath for longer than a few minutes. But that’s not the main issue; the tastiest and most popular mints contain sugar. Unlike the brief moments of fresh breath, the sugar left behind will have a lasting impact. It feeds bacteria and starts the cycle of chronic bad breath over again.
Sugarless gum, on the other hand, provides real benefits! Like mints, they offer some temporary odor protection, which can be great right after a meal. They also stimulate saliva production, which fights dry mouth and helps clean away both bacteria and remnants of food. Lastly, the artificial sugars in gum, especially xylitol gum, won’t feed into the bacteria biome in your mouth.
There are plenty of options for sugar-free gum, so you’re bound to find one that’s pleasant to chew. As far as fresh breath tips go, sugar-free gum is a suggestion most people can enjoy following!
Do You Have Dental Health Questions? Schedule an Appointment!
We can help make sure you and your family are brushing correctly. If you’re concerned or just looking for information, the professionals at Walbridge Dental provide complete family dental care to families in the Millbury community. Contact us online to set up an appointment now or call us at 419-836-1033.
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