Are you worried about bad breath? Having bad breath can ruin a romantic moment, make the wrong impression at a job interview, or cause you to be an outcast among your group of friends, without you even being aware of it. Luckily there are some steps you can take to keep your breath fresh and avoid awkward social moments where bad breath could be a source of embarrassment.
You probably already know the basics, such as brushing your teeth, using mouthwash, and chewing gum. But there are some more specific things you can do that will stop bad breath at the source. Here are 4 tips to prevent bad breath.
1. Brush your tongue or use a tongue scraper
The tongue is often an overlooked part of your mouth. You brush your teeth and floss, but you probably don’t do anything to your tongue. The tongue has many tiny grooves that bacteria love to hang out in and that’s what causes bad breath. Brushing your tongue helps to remove some of the bacteria that buildup between the taste buds. A tongue scraper does an even better job. It consists of a flat edge that you slide over your tongue from back to front, scraping off the bacteria all at once without redepositing any. Brush or scrape your tongue at least once a day for fresher breath.
2. Stay on a regular schedule with dental visits
Keeping your teeth clean goes a long way toward having fresh breath. Visiting the dentist on a twice yearly schedule helps to remove plaque from your teeth and keep your mouth healthy. Another important aspect of preventive dental care is the detection of tooth decay or cavities. If you have a decaying tooth, the bacteria causing the cavity thrives in that hole and gives you unpleasant breath. You can sometimes tell when someone has severe tooth decay from the smell of their breath alone. When cavities are discovered early and filled, it can stop bad breath from getting worse.
3. Pay attention to your gum health
In addition to your teeth, your gum health can affect your breath. Gum issues will also be detected by your dentist during your regular visits. The biggest indicator that you may have gum disease or gingivitis is bleeding gums. If your gums bleed when you floss or brush, even just a little bit, it is not normal. Normal is if your gums bleed when you floss for the first time in months. Your gums may also bleed if you’re brushing too hard or using a hard-bristled toothbrush. But if you’re flossing regularly and brushing with a medium or soft brush, bleeding gums are not normal. Your dentist can help you with basic gum issues. In severe cases, scaling or root planing may be necessary. But the bottom line is that correcting gum issues can help eliminate bad breath.
4. Stay hydrated and eat a healthy diet
What you consume makes a difference in your breath. Drinking water is one of the best things you can do to prevent bad breath. Water washes the bacteria out of your mouth, but it also keeps your mouth from getting dry, which is a common cause of bad breath. When it comes to diet, avoid foods and drinks that are acidic or high in sugar. Bacteria feed on sugar and acids weaken your teeth, increasing your chances of tooth decay. You may also want to avoid foods that are known to cause bad breath, such as garlic and onion.