Posted by Walt Vogl Apr 30, 2023
Bad breath, also called halitosis, occurs for many reasons. A common cause of bad breath is bacteria buildup in the mouth. Bacteria buildup can lead to food particles stuck between your teeth. The bacteria feed on these food particles, causing your breath to smell bad. Other causes of bad breath include dry mouth, gum disease, oral infections, and cavities. Here are a few tips to eliminate bad breath.
Brushing your teeth twice a day is the best way to keep your mouth clean. Food particles and bacteria build up throughout the day, so it’s important to brush away that film before it can harden into plaque. Brushing down the gumline removes plaque from the tooth surfaces that your toothbrush can’t reach. This helps prevent cavities from forming between teeth and along your gum line.
Flossing helps remove food particles and plaque from between teeth where a toothbrush can’t reach well. This can prevent tooth decay and gum disease.
The American Dental Association recommends flossing once per day. When flossing, don’t rush the job. Be sure to clean each tooth individually, lightly massaging the floss along each side of each tooth in a zigzag motion. If you find it tricky to floss your back teeth, try using a water flosser. These devices are easy to use, can clean hard-to-reach areas, and are a great alternative to traditional string floss.
Your tongue is a haven for bacteria. By brushing it, you remove that bacteria and help reduce your bad breath.
You should replace your toothbrush every three to four months to prevent bacteria from growing and to keep your gums healthy. When it’s time to switch out your old toothbrush for a new one, opt for a soft-bristled toothbrush with the ADA Seal of Acceptance. This will allow you to get a deeper clean while also protecting your gums from being scratched by hard bristles.
Talk to your dentist about the best cleaning products to use on your appliance. Typically, you’ll wash it the same way that you brush your teeth – with toothpaste and a soft-bristled brush. Some people recommend adding denture cleaner to the routine as well. Let your dentist know what you’re using so they can make sure you’re making the right choices.
In addition to brushing the appliance every day, you should soak it in a cleaning solution overnight to keep it fresh and clean. Ask your dentist what solution they recommend using.
Saliva naturally cleans away food particles and neutralizes acids produced by bacteria in your mouth. When your mouth is dry, it becomes a perfect environment for anaerobic bacteria and plaque to thrive and produce foul-smelling sulfur compounds. You may also experience bad breath as a result of dry mouth.
If you have chronic dry mouth, ask your dentist about available treatments. There are effective solutions available to help treat this concern. Your dentist may also recommend an over-the-counter rinse designed for dry mouth sufferers. You should also drink plenty of water throughout the day to help flush out oral bacteria and keep your mouth moist. If you notice that your breath smells bad in the morning, try chewing sugar-free gum before brushing your teeth to help stimulate saliva production.
Remember that brushing alone can’t get rid of bad breath. It is important to visit your dentist for a professional cleaning every six months to get rid of plaque buildup at and under the gum line, which can be hard to reach with at-home care.
For more tips on improving your breath, visit our blog. If you’re experiencing chronic bad breath and would like help, contact your dentist today to schedule a consultation.
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