Tips on how to cure bad breath
Bad breath, otherwise known as halitosis, is a common problem, which affects everyone from time to time to varying degrees, with one in four adults in the UK suffering from it regularly. It can cause embarrassment in social situations and can lead to people becoming anxious and paranoid. Fortunately, there are some tips that you can adopt which will reduce your chances of suffering from it.
Most cases of bad breath are caused by poor dental hygieneand can be resolved by improving one’s teeth-cleaning routine, and visiting your dental hygienist. Strong smelling foodstuffs such as onions, garlic, cheese and coffee can all cause short-term bad breath, as can the build-up of decaying food on the surface of your tonsils?
Tips on how to keep your breath fresh:
- Brush your teeth twice a day. Use fluoride toothpaste. Correct and regular brushing is crucial to keeping your breath smelling fresh.
- Brush or scrape your tongue. Brushing your tongue can remove bacteria at the back of the mouth.
- Floss your teeth. Brushing alone only cleans up to about 60% of the surface of your teeth. Flossing removes food trapped between teeth, which would otherwise turn stale and smelly. Another product you can buy to clean between your teeth is an interdental brush.
- Use an antibacterial mouthwash. The best time to use mouthwash is just before bedtime. There are many different types of mouthwash. Most are alcohol-based. Alcohol can dry out or irritate your mouth, so if you have problems, switch to an alcohol-free brand that contains chlorhexidine or hydrogen peroxide.
- Use sugar-free gum. The chewing stimulates saliva and stops your mouth drying out. A dry mouth can lead to bad breath. But gum is not a substitute for proper oral hygiene. Always clean your teeth thoroughly, even if you’ve chewed gum.
- Have a check-up with your dentist at least once a year. It’s a chance to have a deep clean of your teeth and review your oral hygiene practices. You’ll also get a definitive answer on whether you’ve got bad breath.
- Quit smoking. If you smoke, your breath is likely to smell of stale smoke. Smoking cigarettes also increases your risk of getting gum disease, which is another cause of bad breath.
If you have persistent bad breath, try keeping a diary of all foods you eat, and make a list any medicines you’re taking. Take this diary to your dentist – they may be able to suggest ways to solve the problem. It is important to bear in mind that bad breath can also be caused by medical conditions, such as diabetes, gastritis, dry mouth, and liver and kidney problems.
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