5 Easy Ways to Prevent Bad Breath

avoid-bad-breathHalitosis is a fancy word for bad breath, and no one wants it. Yet, everyone has it at one time or another. Usually, when you wake up in the morning, breath smells rank. The reason? An accumulation of bacteria in the mouth that emits bad odors and results in what many call morning breath. It’s quickly cured after brushing, flossing, and rinsing. But there are other reasons for bad breath, and here are tips on how to prevent it.

1. Get regular dental checkups

Paying a visit to the dentist is essential for maintaining oral health. Bad breath can be caused not only by eating onions or garlic, but could indicate you have gingivitis (gum disease). If this is what is causing your bad breath, a simple cleaning will not suffice. Cleaning below the gum line (known as deep cleaning and scaling) may be needed. Pay your dentist a visit once every six months to determine the State of Your Dental Health.

2. Brush and floss

Brushing your teeth for 30 seconds is not enough time, and flossing every other day is not the prescription for a healthy mouth either. You should brush your teeth at least twice a day, but three times daily is optimal. Your tongue is also a bacterial hotbed, and it, too, should be brushed. Two minutes with a soft-bristled toothbrush will do, and keep in mind your brush should be replaced every three or four months when it is frayed. Worn brushes don’t clean teeth well.

Flossing is also a must. What you can’t dislodge from in between your teeth with brushing can be removed, not with a toothpick, but with the gentle placement and removal of floss between each tooth. Bacteria and particles are both a source of odor. Your efforts should be focused on where tooth meets gum. If you haven’t flossed before, during the first week your, gums may bleed a little, but after that, you should be good to go.

3. Rinse with mouthwash

Mouthwash is a temporary method of cloaking bad breath odor. There are different types of mouth rinses. Antiseptic rinses actually kill the bad bacteria in your mouth and contain ingredients with super-sized words, like chlorine dioxide, cetylpyridnium chloride, and zinc chloride in them. These can be effective when coupled with a regular routine of brushing and flossing. Caveat: Use only if you’re an adult, because children may swallow.

4. Use sugar-free mints or gum

If your breath is bad, because you ate a cheeseburger with raw onions for lunch, mints or gum may be just the trick. Maybe you couldn’t resist, although you knew you had to return to work in an hour. Then you got a call from your mom and noticed you had three minutes to spare. If the odor is extremely strong, you might want to rinse first, but in a pinch, strong mints or gum will give relief.

5. Don’t/Stop smoking

Tobacco is not only bad for the lungs, it’s bad for the breath. Kicking the habit will not only lead you into better health, but a brighter smile. Smokers develop lung disease and oral cancer at higher rates. But the lingering smell of smoke on the breath is not a pleasant smell, especially when it’s combined with alcohol and strong food odors. Yet to smoke or not to smoke is the question only you can answer.

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