Bad breath: it can be funny when you are joking about it, but it’s certainly no fun if you find yourself suffering from it. We’ve all done the infamous hand-to-mouth “breath check” at one time or another before leaning in to whisper a secret or prepping for a kiss. Halitosis, better known as bad breath, can be easily treated with a mint or stick of gum, but did you know that it can also be prevented as well?
Preventing and Treating Bad Breath
Here are five ways to prevent and treat potentially embarrassing bad breath issues:
Brushing and Flossing Daily
One the most common causes of bad breath is food buildup in your mouth. Whenever you eat, tiny particles of food can stick to your teeth and sometimes become lodged between them. This can cause bacteria to build up inside your mouth and emit an unpleasant odor.
Brushing and flossing after every meal can help remove these food particles, thus preventing the bacteria buildup that often leads to bad breath.
Drinking Lots of Water
Even if you cannot brush your teeth right after every meal, drinking water can help clear away leftover food particles. This can result in less bacteria buildup, in turn preventing bad breath from occurring. It is better to drink water after meals rather than sugary drinks, as the sugar can exacerbate the buildup of bacteria.
Watching What You Eat
Believe it or not, certain foods can affect the pH balance of your mouth. When your food is digested, it’s absorbed into the bloodstream and then expelled by your lungs through breathing. Therefore, consuming foods like onions, garlic and certain spicy foods can cause an unpleasant odor to be emitted from each breath. Avoiding these types of breath-busting foods and instead, eating fresh fruits and veggies can help keep your breath fresher throughout the day.
Sugarless Mints and/or Gum
Sugar-free mints or sugarless chewing gum can be a quick and easy fix for unwanted halitosis; however, they merely cover up the odor rather than preventing it. The bacteria causing the bad breath are still in your mouth, and will continue to build up until you remove them by brushing and flossing. Again, using a sugar-free product is key. Sugar-filled candy or gum will only add to your bacteria problem and can potentially make things worse.
Visiting Your Dentist Regularly
Sometimes the cause of halitosis can run deeper than just oral bacteria. Gum disease can possibly be the culprit. Scheduling an appointment with a dental professional can help you determine the cause of your bad breath issues. Your dentist can offer professional treatment and prevention options.