Bad breath can be uncomfortable for you and those around you. The good news is you can prevent bad breath.
Also referred to as halitosis, there are several causes for bad breath. The most common ones are:
- Poor oral hygiene habits inviting bacteria and risk of gum disease
- Infections in the mouth
- Unhealthy habits such as smoking and alcohol intake
- Some foods like garlic and onion
- Dry mouth – usually saliva cleans the mouth of food particles but if there isn’t enough saliva, poor particles lodged in the mouth cause a bad smell
- Side effects of some medication
- Respiratory tract infections
- Diabetes, kidney, liver and lung disease
- Gastro intestinal issues such as acid reflux and digestion problems
Bad breath odor varies depending on what is causing it. Generally, it is bacteria around the tooth pockets which increase the risk of gum disease and other health issues.
Learn how to prevent bad breath before it gets worse, with these ten tips.
1. Visit the dentist
Ideally, the recommendation is to visit your dentist twice a year for a thorough check up and cleaning if necessary. This will prevent the build up of tartar and help you maintain oral hygiene.
2. Brush your teeth
Brush twice a day, covering all the areas where bacteria can grow. This includes the teeth, gums, roof of your mouth, your tongue and the back of your tongue.
3. Brush for at least two minutes
It helps to set a timer or sing a song while brushing your teeth. Don’t rush through it.
4. Floss well
Floss at least once a day, after your last meal to rid your mouth of food particles. Wrap the floss around your tooth and gently clean around it. This will prevent plaque and tooth decay, while preventing bad breath.
Chew to increase the saliva in your mouth. If you are unable to brush your teeth, chew sugarless gum to remove food particles stuck in your teeth. This also freshens your breath.
6. Include raw vegetables and fruit in your diet
Besides adding to your nutrition, fruits and vegetables, especially apples and carrots can remove plaque from your teeth and fight bacteria that cause bad breath.
7. Drink plenty of water
Keep yourself hydrated throughout the day. This means at least six to eight glasses of water.
8. Stop smoking
Kick that butt. Your body will thank you.
9. Add plain yogurt to your diet
The active bacteria in yogurt help prevent bad breath. Make sure there’s no added sugar.
10. Rinse your mouth
Every time you eat or drink something, rinse your mouth thoroughly. Use a mouthwash.
If the above tips don’t work, it is time to see your doctor to check if the bad breath has an underlying medical cause such as diabetes out of control, a throat infection, sinusitis or something else. Oral health determines overall health.