Everyone can agree that bad breath is a major turn-off. Whether it’s your co-worker, your romantic partner, or the teller at your local bank, bad breath is not something people forget. Being on the receiving end is bad enough; learning YOU’RE the perpetrator can be simply mortifying. So, what can you do about bad breath? There are several DIY fixes you can try at home to remedy this common hygienic offense.
Causes of Bad Breath
First, let’s discuss why bad breath happens in the first place. If you know what’s causing your bad breath (formally known as halitosis), you can put an end to it at the source. Anything from poor dental hygiene to your dietary choices could be to blame. All the brushing and flossing in the world won’t truly get rid of bad breath stemming from the consumption of strong-odor foods like garlic and onions.
The breakdown of food begins in your mouth, then moves down your esophagus to go through more complicated digestion processes. The bacteria left in your mouth comes from remaining food particles, which is why it’s so important to brush and floss a couple of times daily — ideally three. Reduce bacteria by also using an antibacterial mouth rinse, advises WebMD. As said above, though, the true source of the odor won’t go away until it has completely passed through your body. So, eat strong foods containing garlic and onion sparingly if bad breath is an issue.
To get rid of bad breath on your own, here are some helpful tips:
- Brush in the morning and at night, and after your mid-day meal if possible. Don’t neglect the tongue, which is where a lot of the bacteria gathers. Replace your toothbrush every couple of months or after illness.
- Remove dentures at night and thoroughly clean them before placing them back in the next day. Same goes for retainers.
- Drink a lot of water to keep the bacteria flushed away.
- Always keep some sugar-free chewing gum on hand to stimulate the production of saliva. Look for gums and mints that have xylitol.
- Avoid foods with strong odors.
- Avoid smoking and chewing tobacco.
- Make a list of the prescriptions you take and ask your pharmacist if any of them cause bad breath.
- Visit the dentist for a cleaning twice a year. Getting tooth decay, gum abscesses, and abscessed teeth treated right away will prevent halitosis from getting out of control.
- Chew on some parsley after a meal, as this herb contains chlorophyll which freshens breath.
- Place a few drops of natural oils such as tee tree or peppermint on your tongue or on your toothbrush, as these oils contain antibacterial properties.
- Use antiseptic mouthwash to eliminate bacteria in the mouth.
- Ask your dentist and doctor for further tips.
Contact Dr. Demetriou
For more tips and tricks, and to schedule your six-month cleaning, call Dr. Gary Demetriou at 978-794-0010 in North Andover. We have the solutions you need to keep your breath fresh and your teeth clean!