Bad breath, also known as halitosis, can be a major turn-off. In most cases, bad breath isn't serious. Most people experience occasional bad breath. Usually, brushing and flossing your teeth, as well as regular dental checkups, can keep bad breath at bay.
Brush your teeth after you eat
If you know you're going to eat a meal that will cause bad breath, brush your teeth before eating. But if you forget, brush and floss as soon as you can after eating. This will reduce bacteria and food particles that contribute to bad breath.
You should also aim to brush for at least two minutes at a time using gentle strokes. This can clean away plaque and food debris from all tooth surfaces and from along the gum line. When you finish brushing, don't forget to give your tongue a good scrub too. This will help eliminate bacteria living on your tongue that can cause bad breath.
Finally, make sure you're using the right toothpaste. There are a variety of types and flavors available, so you can pick one that meets your needs. Feel free to ask us any questions you have about toothpaste and which one is right for you. We'll be happy to recommend one that will make you want to brush your teeth twice a day!
Floss at least once a day
You should floss every day to remove food debris and plaque from between teeth and along the gum line.
Flossing is more effective than brushing at removing plaque and food particles from between the teeth. If you don't floss, you're leaving food and bacteria in your mouth that can break down enamel and cause bad breath.
Brush your tongue
Use a long-handled, soft, bristled toothbrush or a tongue cleaner to clean the surface of your tongue. Brush your tongue gently but thoroughly until you feel you've removed as much of the buildup as possible. You can also use your toothbrush to brush the roof of your mouth, the taste buds on the sides of your cheeks, and the back of your throat that you can feel at the back of your mouth. Cleaning these areas will prevent odor-causing bacteria from building up in these areas and causing bad breath odors.
Clean dentures or dental appliances
Did you know that you should clean your dentures or dental appliances every day? This will help keep them free of plaque and bacteria that could contribute to bad breath.
Treat dry mouth
A dry mouth, medically known as xerostomia, can be caused by medication use, aging, hormonal changes, diabetes, or nerve damage to the salivary glands. Saliva washes away food particles and neutralizes acids produced by plaque-causing bacteria in the mouth. Without saliva, the bacteria can continue to thrive and produce foul-smelling compounds that are released through the breath. Keep yourself hydrated, and also talk to your dentist about ways to prevent dry mouth.
Adjust your diet
Eating certain foods can make your breath smell bad because these foods contain strong odors. Some foods to avoid include garlic, onions, meat, fish and other seafood, coffee, and spicy foods. If you can't avoid eating some of these foods, brush your teeth after eating them.
Regularly get a new toothbrush
It's recommended that you replace your toothbrush every three to four months. Toothbrushes can harbor germs and bacteria that you don't want in your mouth. A worn-down toothbrush is also less effective at cleaning your teeth. Replace your brush sooner if the bristles are frayed, as this can affect how well your toothbrush cleans your mouth.
Also, consider an electric toothbrush instead of a manual one. Electric toothbrushes are effective in removing more plaque than manual ones.
Schedule regular dental checkups
If you have bad breath, you should visit your dentist as soon as possible. Your dentist can examine your mouth for signs of health problems that may be associated with your bad breath. They will probably recommend a few changes you can make at home to improve your breath. If your bad breath is caused by a medical issue, they will need to determine the cause of the problem before it can be treated. It is important to discuss all of your treatment options with your doctor so that you can work together to find a solution that works for you.
To learn more, visit Brockman Family Dentistry at 11949 Lioness Way Suite 200, Parker, Co 80134, or call (303) 799-4333 for the best dental care.