Bad breath, medically known as halitosis, can come from a variety of sources. It can be from a buildup of food particles and bacteria in your mouth or from decay or gum disease. It can also be a sign of other health problems. Here are some things you can do to reduce or eliminate bad breath.
Brush your teeth twice daily
Your teeth are constantly collecting food particles and bacteria throughout the day. By brushing your teeth twice a day, you will be able to keep your mouth clean and prevent bad breath at the same time. Dampen your toothbrush with water and add toothpaste before brushing. Gently brush all surfaces of your teeth for at least two minutes while making sure to brush along the gumline as well. Rinsing your mouth after you are done can help prevent any leftover debris from being reabsorbed back into your mouth. Make sure to replace your toothbrush regularly and continue your regular oral hygiene routine to prevent bad breath.
Floss at least once a day
Despite what some people may believe, flossing is just as important as brushing. When you floss, you are accessing areas that your toothbrush cannot reach in order to remove plaque and food particles that can become stuck between your teeth. These areas include the gums and the back areas of your teeth. Flossing not only prevents cavities but also decreases the amount of bacteria present in your mouth.
Brush your tongue too
Even if your toothbrush can reach the back of your tongue, you should still try to scrape the bacteria off the surface of your tongue with your toothbrush whenever you brush your teeth. Bacteria can hide on the rough surface of your tongue, so it is important to make sure you are cleaning it thoroughly on a daily basis. When scraping your tongue, also make sure to rinse the scraper off in between strokes to prevent any of the harmful bacteria from spreading back to your teeth.
Clean dentures or dental appliances
You should clean your dentures regularly using denture cleanser. Be sure to rinse them thoroughly before placing them back in your mouth. Ask your dentist how often you should change your dentures based on your specific situation and oral health needs.
You should also clean your mouthguards before and after each use with a very soft toothbrush and water. Do not use toothpaste to clean your mouthguard—it’s abrasive and can scratch the surface of the guard. Instead, soak it in mouthwash to disinfect it.
Avoid dry mouth
If you suffer from chronic dry mouth, you may notice that your breath smells more often than it should. That’s because saliva helps to keep your mouth clean and free of odor-causing bacteria. When there isn’t enough saliva to wash away food particles and dead cells, bad breath can occur. Certain mouthwashes may help to temporarily relieve symptoms of dry mouth, but you’ll still need to address the root cause of dry mouth persists. Talk to your dentist for recommendations on over-the-counter products to help minimize the effects of dry mouth.
Adjust your diet
What you eat can make a huge difference when it comes to bad breath. Dairy products can cause your breath to smell bad over time, as can garlic and onions. Spicy foods may also cause your mouth to have a foul odor. To stop this from happening, avoid eating these foods and practice good oral hygiene.
Regularly get a new toothbrush
The bristles of your toothbrush will get worn out with regular use and cleanings. When that happens, your toothbrush won’t be able to clean your teeth effectively. You should replace your old toothbrush with a new one every three to four months to keep your oral hygiene routine as effective as possible.
You should also change your toothbrush after you’ve had a cold or flu to prevent re-infection.
Schedule regular dental checkups
In addition to at-home care, you should schedule regular visits with your dentist for professional cleanings and thorough oral exams. These appointments help prevent plaque buildup, tooth decay, and other oral health problems. At your regular checkups, your dentist will monitor the health of your gums and provide recommendations for improvements as needed.
If you have any questions, visit East Burn Dentistry and Implants at 1415 SE Ankeny St, Portland, OR 97214, or call 503 2334871 to schedule an appointment.