Bad breath can be caused by poor oral hygiene habits, certain medical conditions, dry mouth, certain foods, tobacco products, and medications. It’s embarrassing and can make you feel self-conscious. Here are a few tips to eliminate bad breath.
Brush Your Teeth Twice Daily
A good oral hygiene routine should include brushing twice a day. You should brush in the morning after you get up to remove plaque from your mouth overnight and at night before you go to bed to remove any food particles that you missed during the day. Use toothpaste that has fluoride in it.
Floss at Least Once a Day
Even though brushing helps clean the surface of your teeth, it can not reach between teeth. This is where flossing comes in. Floss is able to clear away plaque and bacteria from hard-to-reach places. Start by wrapping about 18 inches of floss around your middle fingers. Slide the floss between each tooth in a C shape and gently rub it up and down. Repeat this process on each tooth, and be sure to rinse out your floss often so you don’t introduce more bacteria into your mouth.
Brush Your Tongue
You may not be accustomed to cleaning your tongue, but it’s important for your oral health. Bacteria grow on your tongue, so it’s important to remove the bacteria by brushing it. Most people will only brush their tongues when they wake up and before they go to bed. Some patients even opt to use a tongue scraper to clean the surface of their tongues. This helps remove food particles and other debris caused by bacteria from your oral cavities.
Avoid Dry Mouth
If you often experience dry mouth, it can cause bad breath and tooth decay. Although sometimes the causes can be temporary, it is also important to get them treated to ensure that your oral health is taken care of. Avoiding sugary foods and drinks, chewing sugar-free gum, and drinking plenty of water can help your mouth stay moist. You may also want to consult with your dentist about using a fluoride rinse for treatment.
Adjust Your Diet
Teeth aren’t completely resistant to decay. Bacteria feed on food particles left behind in your mouth after eating and form plaque that sticks to the teeth and gums. The longer the bacteria stays in contact with your teeth, the more likely you are to develop cavities and gum disease. Some foods carry more risk of damaging your oral health than others. Limit your intake of sugary drinks and unhealthy snacks such as cookies, candy, chips, pretzels, etc. These foods promote tooth decay and should be avoided as much as possible. Instead, choose healthy foods that are rich in whole grains, dairy, fruit, and vegetables. These types of foods promote healthy teeth because they contain vitamins A and C, which are essential for maintaining tooth enamel and preventing damage. In addition to reducing your sugar intake, limit your alcohol intake. Alcohol reduces your saliva production. Saliva is your mouth’s natural defense against bacteria that can cause tooth decay and gum disease. Without enough saliva to wash away bacteria and food particles, you increase your risk of developing oral infections and diseases.
Regularly Get a New Toothbrush
A toothbrush should be replaced every three to six months, depending on use. If you notice that your old toothbrush isn’t cleaning your teeth as effectively, it may be time for a new one. Consider getting a toothbrush with a soft-bristled brush head to prevent damage to your teeth and gums. It’s also a good idea to get an electric toothbrush, which uses automatic and oscillating movements to remove plaque from teeth. Since electric toothbrushes are more effective in removing plaque and food particles than manual brushing, you may be able to spend less time in the dentist’s chair with regularly scheduled appointments. Plus, some electric brushes have built-in timers that can help you keep track of how long you’ve been brushing.
Schedule Regular Dental Checkups
If you experience problems with bad breath despite following proper oral hygiene practices, consider scheduling an appointment with your dentist. He or she will be able to rule out more serious causes of bad breath, such as gum disease, infections, or other health problems. If you’re concerned about your dental health, don’t hesitate to schedule an appointment with your dental hygienist today!
Please reach out to our dental practice at 17952 SW Blanton St, Aloha, OR 97078, to schedule a consultation with Dr. Bronitsky. Call us at (503) 649-5665 or schedule an online consultation.