While there is no long-term or permanent solution to bad breath (also known as Halitosis), there are certain habits you can practice regularly to combat bad oral hygiene.
Brush your teeth and floss attentively
For the best results, make sure to brush your teeth at least twice per day, most importantly before bed, and floss at least once per day using clean floss. Make sure to take your time and cover all parts and sides of your teeth. This should be effective in removing the food and bacteria stuck in between your teeth and gum line.
Scrape and clean your tongue
Using the tongue scraper on the backside of your toothbrush (or any other tongue scraper), you can scrape and remove the sulfur compound coating on your tongue (usually white), which according to studies is responsible for 80% of bad breath cases! In fact, the tongue is usually holding more bacteria than any other part of the mouth.
Rinse with mouthwash
Rinsing your mouth with mouthwash will not work on its own. Instead, the mouthwash compliments brushing your teeth properly, using floss, and scraping your tongue thoroughly. Swish the mouthwash around in your mouth for at least 30 seconds after brushing your teeth and scraping your tongue. Consumers shouldn’t rinse their mouth with water, eat food, or smoke for 30 minutes after using mouthwash, to avoid diluting the fluoride acting in your mouth. If you need to avoid alcohol for any reason, ask your dentist about non-alcoholic mouthwash options.
Hydrate with lots of water
A dry mouth often means stinky breath, and it usually happens because there is not enough saliva in the mouth. Saliva is vital in keeping your mouth clean because it helps wash away food particles, therefore, it’s important to consistently drink water throughout the day to stimulate saliva production. Alcohol and coffee can actually encourage bacteria growth and make your breath even worse, so it’s important that your drinking water and not replacing it with other beverages.
Pop a mint
As long as you understand this is a short-term solution, using mints or gum is an easy and fast way to freshen up your breath, especially in short notice. Try using mints and gum with low sugar and avoid chewing for an extended period of time.
If you believe that you already consistently practice healthy habits in regard to your mouth hygiene, yet your still dealing with bad breath, it might be a good idea to visit your dentist for an examination. Bad breath (halitosis) can also occur from more serious oral conditions such as gum disease, infections, and cavities. If you believe your dealing with a serious bacteria problem in your mouth, don’t hesitate to visit Dr. Vlahos for a diagnosis and treatment!