Feeling self-conscious about your bad breath? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. It’s a very common problem, affecting around 1 in 4 people. But, fortunately, there are a few simple steps that you can take to tackle this embarrassing condition and ensure you stay minty fresh throughout the day.
What causes bad breath?
Bad breath (or halitosis, to give it its medical name) is most commonly caused by poor dental hygiene. In fact, 90% of cases originate in the mouth. If you don’t look after your teeth and gums, bacteria and plaque will start to grow – and both of these are known to produce a foul odour.
In some cases, the source of the problem comes from elsewhere in the body. For example, it may be the result of a medical condition, such as tonsillitis or acid reflux. It can be due to eating strong-smelling foods or drinks or because of a new crash diet that restricts certain food groups.
Whatever the cause, it’s fairly easy to treat. There are numerous home remedies and lifestyle changes that you can try, all designed to combat odours and get rid of bad breath once and for all.
6 tips to cure bad breath
1. Visit the dentist regularly
One of the best things you can do to cure bad breath is to visit the dentist. You should aim to have a routine check-up at least once or twice a year. It’s also a good idea to see a dental hygienist every six months or so – who will ‘scale’ your teeth and remove stubborn deposits of plaque and calculus.
Here at Kiln Lane Dental, we currently offer a monthly membership plan – which includes both regular examination and hygiene appointments. This is a great option for anyone with halitosis, helping to maintain your general oral health and keep those unwanted odours at bay.
2. Brush and floss daily
This one goes without saying. To prevent a build-up of bacteria in your mouth, you should brush your teeth and gums with a fluoride toothpaste – at least twice a day, for two minutes.
Flossing is also a great habit to get into. Some people find it difficult to do, but it’s an effective way to remove food debris and plaque that you can’t reach with your toothbrush. Therefore, if you’re looking to cure bad breath, it’s worth persevering and making it a part of your daily dental routine.
3. Clean your tongue
Bacteria can also accumulate on the tongue. A normal toothbrush can be used to get rid of this. Simply start at the back and brush lightly forwards until you reach the opening of the mouth.
Alternatively, you could try using a tongue scraper. These are specifically designed to apply even pressure across the surface of the tongue and, as such, do a much more thorough job. They successfully remove dead cells, food particles and bacteria and can help to treat bad breath.
4. Mints and gum
After you’ve eaten, mints and chewing gum are a great way to freshen up your mouth. But, crucially, they must be sugar-free. If not, bacteria in the mouth will convert the sugar into acid. Not only can this acid wear down your enamel, leading to dental issues, it can actually make your halitosis worse. When you head to the shops, be sure to check the packet and choose your gum wisely.
5. Stay hydrated
Saliva has a big role to play in keeping your mouth clean. Without it, bacteria thrive. That’s why many people suffer from ‘morning breath’. Your mouth naturally dries out whilst you sleep, allowing the bacteria to multiply and creating a nasty smell. But it can occur at any time of the day.
With this in mind, one effective ‘bad breath remedy’ is to stay hydrated. You should aim to drink at least eight glasses of water per day. This will encourage saliva production and keep bacteria levels to a minimum. You should also avoid diuretics, such as caffeine and alcohol, as much as possible.
6. Cut out strong-smelling foods
Certain foods (such as garlic and onion) can make your bad breath worse. Many people assume that a quick brush will get rid of the smell – but this isn’t the case. Substances from the food (which make them smelly) get into your bloodstream and travel to your lungs, where you then breathe them out. As such, the only way to stop this problem is to change your diet and cut them out altogether.
Get in touch for further halitosis tips
If you would like to find out more about how to get rid of bad breath or wish to visit our dental hygienist, please feel free to get in touch. Our experts are always on hand and happy to help. They will offer further advice on how to tackle your halitosis and can schedule you in for an appointment. Either give us a call on 01744 25776 or send an email to email@example.com.