The importance of good oral hygiene and committing to keeping our mouths clean can’t be underestimated when it comes to keeping our breath as fresh as possible. Follow these 9 tips from Kenmore dentist Dr Rachel Hall to help avoid bad breath.
While good oral hygiene and fresh breath are important for everyone, studies show that for couples, it matters a lot. In fact, 60 percent of adults with partners say that their partner’s oral health — the state of their teeth, gums and breath — plays a big role in their level of intimacy.
For some people, chronic bad breath is a symptom of a larger health problem, the rest of us who simply experience a morning breath or the occasional post-dinner whiff can usually freshen things up pretty quickly.
There are scores of toothpaste, mouthwashes and dental floss we can use to keep our teeth, gums, and tongues in tip-top shape. But there are a number of other ways to make our mouths smell nice.
1. Brush and floss correctly.
For starters, make sure you’re covering the basics of brushing and flossing. You don’t want bacteria, or worse, plaque and tartar in your mouth. To keep your mouth fresh and clean brush two or three times a day, with thorough flossing at least once, but preferably twice a day.
You probably don’t want to hear it but flossing is crucial. A toothbrush will cover all the areas around the teeth except for where the teeth actually contact each other so you have to floss in between to break up the plaque and food debris, which can cause bad breath.
2. Use a tongue scraper/cleaner.
You should clean your tongue every day. Tongue scrapers and cleaners play a role in eliminating plaque and food debris. Use a proper tongue cleaner and not the back of the toothbrush and make sure you are cleaning all the way back to your gag reflex, the part that makes you feel like you might chokes as this is where a lot of bugs and mucous sits that are responsible for bad breath.
3. See your dentist twice a year.
Keep up with dental cleanings and be sure to get annual X-rays of your teeth. Bad breath can be caused by cavities, root absorptions, and lots of other conditions that are found in the mouth. There’s no way to know what’s going on in there unless a professional looks in your mouth and takes X-rays.
4. Drink more water.
A number of the culprits that cause bad breath can be dealt with by simply increasing your water intake. One is acid-reflux, which studies suggest can be alleviated by drinking more water.
Another is post-nasal drip is a more common cause of halitosis than most people know. Increasing water helps loosen up secretions in the back of the throat, thereby freshening up the area.
A dry mouth also contributes to bad breath. Dry mouth happens when there isn’t enough saliva in the mouth. It’s why we get morning breath. It’s especially common in people who take certain medications. There are over 400 prescription and over-the-counter medications that list dry mouth as a side effect.
Drinking more water moistens the mouth and helps things run smoothly.
5. Eat crunchy, raw foods.
Crunchy vegetables have a low-water content, so if you’re eating them, you have to produce more saliva in order to get it down your throat. Increasing saliva in your mouth and having more salivary flow is a good way of protecting and naturally cleansing your mouth.
6. Consider a saltwater gargle.
Gargling with saltwater could benefit anyone who has crypts, or pockets, in their tonsil area, which can get food, bacteria and mucous build up in them that then gets stinky. Gargling with saltwater could help dislodge anything that’s become stuck, but don’t go overboard with the salt. Using one teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water is sufficient.
7. Chew gum.
Chewing sugarless gum can help freshen breath and not only because gum comes in fresh minty flavours. Chewing gum increases salivary production, which helps to moisten the mouth.
8. Be mindful of stinky foods and alcohol
Onions, garlic, spicy dishes, and coffee all have smells that linger in our mouths up to 72 hours after we ingest them. So its good to brush and floss after each meal and use an alcohol-free mouthwash to help keep your breath fresh by masking these food odours. Alcohol not only smells bad on your breath but it dehydrates your mouth adding to the stench and bacteria build up.
9. Don’t smoke.
There’s a reason they call it “smoker’s breath.” That nasty sour smell is partly from smoke particles that get stuck in the mouth, throat, and lungs after smoking cigarettes. The smell of just one cigarette can linger in your lungs for hours. Additionally, chemicals found in tobacco add to the bad smell. As if that’s not enough, tobacco also dries out the mouth, increases plaque formation and causes gum disease, which adds to the unpleasant smell.
Want to know more about bad breath and how to treat it then contact Evolve Dental Healing’s Fresh Breath Centre Brisbane 07 3720 1811 and book in for your breath analysis and consultation today.
The Fresh Breath Centre Brisbane is located in the leafy suburb of Kenmore just 10km west of Brisbane CBD. The Fresh Breath Centre for the treatment of bad breath, in partnership with Evolve Dental Healing holistic dental practice, is run under the supervision of dentist Dr Rachel Hall, who graduated from the University of Leeds (UK) in 1992.