Whether you’re afraid of bad breath–or worse–been told you have bad breath, there are lots of ways to get rid of or stop your bad breath. Of course, you can always ask your dentist for tips at your next teeth cleaning exam, but in the meantime, here are some of our best tips for how to get rid of bad breath.
10 Ways to Stop Bad Breath
- Brush and floss for two minutes, twice a day
The best way to stop bad breath is to maintain great oral hygiene habits, which starts with brush and flossing for two minutes at a time, twice a day. This baseline measure will help keep your mouth clean of odor causing bacteria on the surfaces of your teeth and in between your teeth. Plus, most toothpastes have both a minty smell and flavor, which will help you feel like you have fresh breath right after you brush.
- Use mouthwash
For an extra boost to your oral hygiene routine, add a breath freshening mouthwash. Rinse for at least 45-60 seconds and gargle right at the end before you spit it out. Mouthwash is great for finding any last odor causing bacteria and giving you a super fresh bump to your breath for a couple of hours.
- Drink lots of water
Bad breath odors flourish in a dry mouth environment. Caffeine tends to dry out the mouth, and things like stuffy noses can mean a dryer mouth than normal. But drinking lots of water throughout the day (at least the recommended 6-8 glasses) can keep your mouth from getting too dry. Water also helps to rinse away food particles and odor causing bacteria.
- Rinse with water after every meal
If you don’t have time to brush after every meal, at least rinse with water! Food is a big culprit of bad breath, and food particles can stick in the teeth for hours after you’ve eaten. You’ll lessen the bad breath effect if you rinse with water after each meal, or better yet, brush and floss!
- Brush or scrape your tongue
The tongue is a place where bad breath causing bacteria and food particles love to hide. If you’re not already making a habit of brushing or scrubbing your tongue, this is a great way to ensure fresh breath throughout the day.
You can also purchase a tongue scraper if you don’t like the sensation of brushing your tongue with your toothbrush. This special tool also helps remove bacteria and particulate from the tongue, and some folks prefer it to their toothbrush.
- Avoid bad breath causing foods
Onions, garlic, cheese, coffee and other pungent food and drink can all leave a less than pleasant odor in the mouth. If you know you’ll be in a meeting with your co-workers after a big meal, or want to make sure you have great breath for a special occasion, make sure to avoid these bad breath foods.
- Stop smoking
Smoking is one of the biggest causes of chronic bad breath! Smoking is not only bad for your health, it dries out the mouth, which makes it a haven for bad breath bacteria. Plus, it stains your teeth, can cause your gums to recede and causes mouth cancer. We say stay away!
- Chew sugarless gum
If you’re worried about bad breath during the day, try chewing sugarless gum. Sugarless gum is better for bad breath than mints, since it stimulates saliva production. Keep a pack in your desk or purse, but be careful of chewing for too long if you have issues with TMJ pain.
- Eat apples or celery
If you’re stuck after a meal with no way to brush, apples or celery can be a great temporary stand in “toothbrush”. Both of these foods help scrape bacteria and food particles from your teeth, and have the added benefit of stimulating saliva production. Plus, both foods have vitamins and minerals that are good for your overall health. While they’re not nearly as good as your trusty toothbrush, they will help with bad breath in a pinch!
- See your doctor
If you have chronic bad breath or can’t seem to get rid of bad breath, even with great oral hygiene habits, see your doctor. You may have a condition that’s causing your bad breath apart from bacteria in the mouth. For example, some people with post-nasal drip, sinus issues or auto-immune disease may have bad breath that’s unrelated to their oral health.
If you’re not sure what’s causing your bad breath and you’ve already spoken to your dentist, it’s time to see your doctor. They may be able to provide a simple over-the-counter solution, or can diagnose and treat a larger underlying issue.
Finally, keep up with your regular teeth cleaning exams. If you experience a change in your overall breath quality, you’ll be able to address it with your dentist at your next appointment and hopefully return to fresh breath as soon as possible!
Remember: The above information is to be used as general guidelines and you should not use this information to diagnose yourself. If you are concerned about your teeth, you should contact our Clintonville, Ohio dentists for a thorough dental exam.
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