Taking care of your oral health is key, not only because your teeth, gums, and mouth are important to everyday life, but because any issues affecting it can also be more than a little embarrassing. One such problem is that of bad breath.
We all have bad breath from time to time. No one’s mouth smells like daisies when they first wake up or after they have that morning cup of coffee. However, if it’s a more persistent problem than that, or if the smell is particularly strong, then it’s important not to give in to feeling like it can’t be fixed. There’s a lot that you can do to improve your breath.
Use more anti-bacterial oral hygiene products
Bad breath can have a few causes, but one of the most common is the spread of bacteria, which are always present in the mouth, but can begin to multiply even quicker after you eat or drink something. This is one of the reasons that it’s so widely recommended that you brush your teeth after every meal or, if you can’t do that, at least chew some sugar-free gum to cover the odor and help clean the teeth a little. Otherwise, you should look at antibacterial mouthwash that’s going to be able to beat back the spread of the cause.
Do not skip flossing
Not to put anyone under the hot seat, but there is a reason that so many dentists ask if you have been flossing. A lot of people will skip it and that’s a bad idea for a number of reasons. For one, brushing and rinsing alone isn’t going to reach every part of the mouth, which can leave some plaque that you can’t reach. If food or plaque gets trapped, it can lead to tooth decay, which is an even stronger smell than the spread of bacteria alone. Flossing every day, after meals if possible, is essential. If you find it difficult or unpleasant to floss your teeth, then you might want to use one of the water-based alternatives, instead.
Mind your tongue, as well
It’s not just your teeth and gums that you need to take care of. A lot of people skip over giving their tongue a little care, as well, but this is particularly neglectful when it comes to dealing with bad breath, as the tongue is where you’re most likely to see the spread of the particular sulfur-producing bacteria that causes bad breath in the first place. If you can’t clean your tongue comfortably with a toothbrush, then you might want to invest in a tongue scraper. If you find yourself gagging while doing it, then try to be more gentle when you’re going over sensitive spots.
Make an appointment about it
Talking about bad breath might seem a little embarrassing, but there is no one better to talk to it than the professional best positioned to help with it. Your dentist can take a look in your mouth and make recommendations on what hygiene habits you can focus on, as well as any medical reasons there might be behind that bad breath. This is especially helpful if you’re already doing everything that you can think of.
Drink more water
While most of the time, improving your oral health habits is going to be the key, sometimes, you might have bad breath because you’re not giving yourself the self-care that you need. If you are dehydrated, then your mouth isn’t going to be able to produce saliva. It’s your saliva that normally does the job of fighting the spread of bacteria in the mouth in your day-to-day life. Make sure that you drink plenty of water so that your mouth can keep making that precious saliva. Chewing some sugar-free gum can help to promote the production of saliva once you’ve hydrated, too.
Be mindful of what you eat
Any onion, garlic, or otherwise pungent foods are naturally going to stay on your breath, especially if you don’t take the time to clean after eating. Coffee is another prime cause of short-term bad breath, so finding a coffee alternative might be the key if you’re not able to brush and rinse after you have your cup. Mostly, however, it’s down to simple dental care after eating or drinking.
Bad breath can be embarrassing, but ignoring it is only going to make it worse. Follow the tips above to find the root cause of recurring bad breath and to find the strategies that will help you deal with it properly.