What bad habits cause bad breath?
If you don’t floss and brush your teeth daily, food particles can remain in your mouth, promoting bacterial growth between teeth, on the tongue and around the gums. This produces bad breath. Antibacterial mouth rinses also can help decrease bacteria.
In addition, food particles and odor-causing bacteria can cause bad breath if dentures are not properly cleaned.
Avoid chewing or smoking tobacco-based products also can cause bad breath, stain teeth, decrease your ability to taste foods, and irritate your gums.
What procedures and products can I use to eliminate bad breath?
An antiseptic mouthwash can help eliminate bacteria that cause bad breath. Ask your dentist about which product is best for you. If you wear dentures, remove them at night and clean to get rid of bacterial buildup from food and liquids. Drink plenty of water and swish cool water around in your mouth. This is especially helpful to freshen “morning breath.” Brush after every meal and floss, preferably twice a day. Replace your toothbrush every two to three months.
Arrange regular dental checkups and cleanings. Scrape your tongue each morning with a tongue scraper or spoon to decrease the bacteria, fungi, and dead cells that can cause odor. Hold the tip of the tongue with gauze to pull it forward in order to clean the back of the tongue.
Chew a handful of cloves, fennel seeds, or aniseeds. Their antiseptic qualities help fight halitosis-causing bacteria.
Chew a piece of lemon or orange rind for a mouth- freshening burst of flavor. (Wash the rind thoroughly first.) The citric acid will stimulate the salivary glands—and fight bad breath.
Chew a fresh sprig of parsley, basil, mint, or cilantro. The chlorophyll in these green plants neutralizes odors.Try a 30-second mouthwash rinse that is alcohol-free (unike many off-the-shelf products). Mix a cup of water with a teaspoon of baking soda (which changes the pH level and fights odor in the mouth) and a few drops of antimicrobial peppermint essential oil. Don’t swallow it! Yields several rinses.
Ask your dentist about which antiseptic mouthwash product is best for you.
The Dentistry of Dr. Ka-Ron Y. Wade
2101 Crawford St, Suite 103
Houston, TX 77002