At some point in life, we’ve all suffered from bad breath – either as the victim or the perpetrator. While halitosis can be hard to identify in yourself, you can bet you have bad breath if you notice a funky lingering taste in your mouth or smell a foul odor when flossing.
Unsure whether your meal is still making an appearance in your mouth long after lunchtime? Lick your hand, let the saliva dry, and give it a quick sniff. If found guilty, take note of the following tips recommended by dental professionals to keep bad breath at bay.
The more plaque builds up on your teeth, the more bacteria collects there leading to unpleasant odors. Tiny bits of food, especially those trapped in the molars, can also lead to bacteria and smells. If you typically only brush morning and night, consider keeping a spare toothbrush in your car or bag to give your mouth a quick cleaning after lunch.
As you might imagine, foul-smelling foods like garlic, tuna and onions are likely to cause bad breath, but not for the reasons you suspect. It may not be enough to brush and rinse after eating as nutrients from these foods enter your bloodstream and go through the lungs which then affects the air you exhale. Coffee and beer are also major culprits. If you anticipate being in close quarters (say, in a staff meeting), it’s best to avoid such stinky food and beverage selections altogether.
Not only will your dentist beam with pride, you’ll nip the problem in the bud by removing odor-causing buildup and food particles. Regular flossing also prevents tooth decay and other costly oral problems down the line. Once you get into the habit of flossing at least once per day, you’ll surely notice when you miss a day. Your teeth will feel downright filthy and thus encourage the healthy cycle.
Tobacco users have heard all the reasons to quit and bad breath is yet another to add to the long list. Aside from causing lung and throat cancer, the nicotine and tar from cigarettes will stain your pearly whites and put your gums at risk for disease. Want to improve your breath and overall oral hygiene? Start a smoking cessation program immediately.
Not only is this wonderful for your digestive system and dietary goals, water will keep your mouth from drying out which leads to unpleasant smells. Snack on water-rich fruits and vegetables like apples, cucumbers, or carrots to give yourself an added boost of nutrients and clear your mouth of sticky debris.
Ditch candy and mints that will only worsen bad breath by giving existing bacteria the sugar on which they thrive to generate acid. Chew sugar-free gum immediately after meals to stimulate saliva, extract stubborn food particles from between the teeth, and leave a minty fresh taste in your mouth.
Scrapers will remove that nasty coating upon which bacteria and dead cells love to sit and leave you feeling fresher than brushing alone. You can also “scrape” your tongue with a toothbrush – just don’t forget the back of the tongue. If you smell an odor or see color when you rinse and spit, repeat the process until you no longer do.
If foul mouth odors fail to subside, it may be time to schedule a dental check-up or see your family doctor. You may have an underlying medical issue such as acid reflux or dental problems like gum disease or cavities. The professionals at Gables Sedation & Family Dentistry can help you with any dental issues which may be causing bad breath. Please call for a consultation today.