Did you know that around 25-30% of the world’s population suffers from bad breath? What’s even more surprising is that many of the people who are living with this issue day after day may not even realize it. The official term for “bad breath” is halitosis, a foul odor emanating from the mouth, and it can be caused by a number of factors. Dental cavities, gum disease, a coated tongue, and poor oral hygiene are some of the most common causes. Fortunately, there are many simple steps and at-home remedies you can practice to manage your bad breath!
Stay On Top of Your Oral Hygiene
Of course, the most effective and most obvious way to combat bad breath is by maintaining good oral health. We all know how important it is to brush our teeth twice a day, but if you are someone who struggles with chronic or even moderately bad breath, then start brushing and flossing after every meal. You should also be replacing your toothbrush every 2 to 3 months, as opposed to the typical 6 months. If you wear a retainer at night, make sure to thoroughly clean it as often as you can by brushing it with toothpaste or mouthwash. Since bacteria, fungi, and dead cells that cause odors tend to accumulate on top of the tongue, use a scraper or spoon to clean off the tongue – from tip to back – each morning. And, of course, schedule regular checkups and cleanings with your dentist or oral hygienist.
Change Up Your Diet
Raw and crunchy foods help stimulate saliva production and therefore help to clean your teeth while you chew them. Apples, carrots, celery, cranberries, and walnuts are prime examples. The citric acid in fruits like oranges, lemons, and kiwis also helps stimulate the salivary glands and fights odors. The chlorophyll in green plants – such as parsley, basil, mint, and cilantro – neutralizes the odors in your mouth. In addition, a handful of cloves, fennel seeds, or aniseeds will help fight the bacteria that cause halitosis due to their antiseptic qualities.
Ditch the Mints and Opt for Gum
It is often times the first thing that people reach for once they’ve finished their meal – a crisp, winter mint to freshen their breath and remove any potential aftertaste. Unfortunately, this strategy could, in fact, be doing more harm than good in the long run. The bacteria that live in your mouth love sugar, as they use it to make acid. This, in turn, wears down your teeth and contributes to bad breath. Chewing sugarless gum is a much better solution to your after-dinner breath blues. Chewing gum stimulates the production of more saliva – “the mouth’s natural defense mechanism against plaque acids.” Check out these top 10 sugar-free gum options in 2020.
When to See a Dentist
If you’ve followed these simple steps to remedy your bad breath at home and the symptoms still haven’t subsided, it’s time to see a dentist. Bad breath can be due to dry mouth, infection, or other mouth conditions and your dentist will be able to detect the source of the odor. Revitalizing Smiles welcomes patients from Fairfield, Trumbull, Monroe, Westport, Bridgeport, and Greenwich and all over the tri-state area. Make an appointment today!