They say that if someone offers you a breath mint, you should always take it. It’s a polite way for that person to say your breath doesn’t exactly smell of roses. However, breath mints aren’t the only way—or even the best way—to freshen your breath. In addition to brushing and flossing every day, here are the best ways to give halitosis the boot.
Snack on Crunchy, Healthy Food
The crisp crunch of apples, carrot sticks, and celery isn’t just refreshing—these healthy foods also act as little scrubbers on your teeth, removing food particles and the bacteria that live on them to freshen your breath. Veggies, in general, promote a more alkaline environment in your mouth, counteracting the acids that lead to bad breath.
Drink More Water
When it comes to staying hydrated, nothing is better than good old H2O. Unlike sports drinks, iced tea, and soda, water has no sugar or acidic preservatives that contribute to bad breath and worn tooth enamel. Strive to drink about eight cups of water every day.
Chew on Fresh Mint, Parsley, Basil, or Cilantro
If you recently bought a few fresh herbs to use in your cooking, cut off a leaf or two and pop it directly into your mouth. As you can imagine, fresh mint leaves freshen your breath, but this isn’t the only herb with this ability. Parsley, basil, and cilantro also contain chlorophyll, which neutralizes the odors in your mouth caused by volatile sulfur compounds.
Brush Your Tongue
When you brush and floss, your teeth and gums are the primary emphasis. However, don’t forget about the bacteria hiding on your tongue, which release a byproduct that makes your breath stink. Brush your tongue with a toothbrush or use a special tongue scraper to get your whole mouth as clean as possible.
Rinse with Mouthwash
Mouthwash kills bacteria, which is good for freshening your breath. However, it’s important to choose an alcohol-free mouthwash that won’t simultaneously dry out your mouth. Find a product with chlorine dioxide (sodium chlorite) and zinc compounds on the ingredients list as well, since these kill volatile sulfur compounds that cause bad breath.
If you prefer to make your own mouthwash, dilute one tablespoon of baking soda in one cup of warm water. Add a drop or two of peppermint oil for lingering freshness after you swish.
Chew Sugarless Xylitol Gum
Chewing gum after a meal increases the flow of saliva to help wash away bacteria and prevent enamel staining. Just make sure your gum is sugarless to avoid feeding the bacteria in your mouth.
Better yet, opt for xylitol gum, which contains a natural sugar alcohol that bacteria can’t feed on. Xylitol even creates a protective film on your teeth to prevent bacteria from sticking and causing bad breath.
Disinfect Your Retainer
You should brush your retainer, Invisalign, mouth guard, and other removable oral appliances every day, but an occasional deep cleaning is needed to disinfect your retainer. Here’s how:
- Submerge the appliance in a bowl of warm water and antibacterial dish soap, and scrub it with a toothbrush.
- Transfer the retainer to a bowl of alcohol-based mouthwash and let it sit for 20 minutes.
- Rinse the retainer and let it soak a final time in a bowl of distilled water for 10 minutes.
Replace Your Toothbrush Every 2 to 3 Months
After a couple of months in use, your toothbrush starts to deteriorate. The bristles no longer clean your teeth effectively, and they start to harbor bacteria that cause bad breath. It’s also a good idea to replace your toothbrush after being ill to avoid reintroducing those bacteria into your body.
Visit the Dentist Every 6 Months
While you should always see the dentist twice a year, these visits are especially important if you have concerns about lingering bad breath. An abscess, tooth decay, or another underlying medical problem could be the cause, demanding attention from an oral health expert.
Schedule Your Next Dental Appointment with Dr. Evanson
If you live in the Parker, Colorado area and you’re looking for a new family dentist, Evanson DDS is the right choice. We can address your concerns about bad breath and provide all the dental services you need to ensure a bright smile for every member of your family.
Call Dr. Evanson today at (720) 409-0008 or contact us online to schedule your next dental appointment.Leave a reply →