Bad breath can happen to anyone, but that doesn’t mean there are not any ways to avoid it. The first thing to do when suffering from halitosis is to identify the cause. There could be a wide range of factors, such as a dry mouth, gum disease, tooth decay, smoking and even the consumption of foods high in protein, sugar or acid.
Promoting good oral health is the number one way to prevent bad breath and here are 5 specific practices to keep in mind.
5 Ways To Prevent Bad Breath
#1 – Brush and floss properly
Properly brushing and flossing your teeth is the best way to prevent bad breath. Brushing should be done for at least two minutes twice a day, making sure that you’ve covered all of the areas in your mouth, especially where teeth meet the gums.
Don’t forget to use the proper tooth brush, one small and soft enough to not damage your gums or erode the enamel of your teeth. Brush your tongue and floss at least once a day, making sure to remove all of the debris accumulated in between your teeth.
#2 – Get regular dental check-ups
The ADA recommends that you visit your dentist twice a year, or every six months. A regular dental check-up provides the opportunity for your dentist to examine your mouth thoroughly and spot any signs of tooth decay, gum disease or anything else that might be harmful before they start causing bigger problems.
A dentist will be able to spot the causes of your bad breath and provide guidance on eliminating it. In case it’s coming from something more serious than certain foods or drinking habits, they’ll be able to pinpoint and address the issue head on.
#3 – Avoid smoking
There are plenty of reasons you should avoid smoking or chewing tobacco, and preventing bad breath is just one of many. Smoking causes your breath to retain the smells of stale tobacco smoke, sometimes called “ashtray smell”, and also make you more vulnerable to gum disease, another cause of halitosis.
#4 – Use mouthwash
Adding mouthwash to your dental care routine is a good way to prevent bad breath. Choosing an antiseptic mouthwash to use after brushing and flossing will kill the bad bacteria. Try using one that contains chlorhexidine, cetylpyridinium chloride, chlorine dioxide, zinc chloride and triclosan, all elements that eliminate the bacteria causing your halitosis.
#5 – Make changes in your diet
Drinking more water and eating foods that are high in fiber can be beneficial ways to prevent bad breath.
Because having a dry mouth can often be a cause of halitosis, drinking a lot of water helps improve saliva production which, in turn, cleanses the mouth and eliminates the bacteria.
On the other hand, foods that are fresh and crunchy can actually help clean the teeth and prevent halitosis given that they improve digestion, helping your body get rid of toxins more easily.
Acidic, sugary drinks and foods should be avoided as much as possible because they wreak havoc on your oral health and can feed the bacteria causing bad breath. Instead of sodas and candy bars, try an apple and a glass of water for your next snack.
Alcohol and sugar can dry out your mouth and promote the growth of bacteria. Therefore, they should be left out of your diet as much as possible if you’re looking to keep good oral health and prevent bad breath.