Bad breath, also known as halitosis, is an embarrassing condition that affects people from all walks of life. If you have bad breath, here are a few helpful tips.
Brush your teeth twice daily
Brushing your teeth at least two times a day will help keep your mouth clean from food particles and plaque that build up throughout the day. Using a soft-bristled toothbrush is best because it can clean teeth without damaging gums. You should spend at least two minutes brushing your teeth each time.
When you brush, be sure to use small circular motions on your teeth and gums to really get in between the teeth where food and plaque tend to hide. You should also gently brush your tongue to remove bacteria and freshen your breath at the same time.
Other things to keep in mind when it comes to brushing are using toothpaste that contains fluoride and a toothbrush that is replaced every three-to-four months. Also, don’t use too much pressure when you brush your teeth - this can damage your enamel and aggravate your gums.
Floss at least once a day
When you eat, food particles get stuck between your teeth and can lead to plaque build-up and, eventually, tooth decay. Plaque that gathers along the gum line can cause gingivitis – an inflammation of the gums. If left untreated, it can lead to periodontitis - the inflammation of the bone that holds the teeth in place. Research suggests that people who floss regularly experience better long-term dental health as it minimizes the risk of gum disease, the leading cause of tooth loss in adults. It is also not too late to reap the benefits of flossing, as research has found that even a single session of flossing makes a difference in oral healthcare maintenance and hygiene. Try flossing at least once a day to keep your mouth clean and healthy.
Brush your tongue
Your tongue harbors bacteria that can lead to bad breath. To clean your tongue, gently brush the entire surface using a soft-bristled toothbrush and toothpaste. Don’t forget to also brush the roof of your mouth, which is located right behind your top row of teeth. It is also important to use mouthwash at least two times a day to help kill bacteria and freshen your breath.
Clean dentures or dental appliances
Using the right method to clean your dentures or dental appliances is important to prevent bad breath and tooth decay. The American Dental Association recommends cleaning your dentures daily. In addition to cleaning, it is important to soak your dentures overnight in a disinfectant solution to kill any lingering bacteria and prevent them from drying out. Leaving your dentures out to dry increases the risk of damage.
Avoid dry mouth
Saliva not only helps cleanse your mouth of debris and bacteria that can cause bad breath, but it also helps you naturally fight infection and inflammation from occurring in your mouth. Without saliva to rinse out the mouth, food particles can accumulate between the teeth and become breeding grounds for bacteria and acid. When plaque builds up in the mouth, it may cause tooth decay and lead to gum disease as well. This is why it is important to stay hydrated in order to keep your mouth moist. It is also important to check with a dental health professional if you are experiencing dry mouth on a regular basis because there may be a bigger issue at hand. Dry mouth is caused by many things, such as certain medications, oral infections, hormonal changes, Sjögren’s syndrome, dehydration, and more.
Adjust your diet
While bad breath can be caused by a variety of issues, food being trapped between teeth is one of the top causes and can often be resolved simply by adjusting one’s diet. Some foods are likely to trigger bad breath more than others, so simply decreasing those foods can significantly improve breath. Try eating more vegetables and lean proteins like fish or beans instead of processed foods, carbonated beverages, coffee, and alcohol which are likely to cause dry mouth. Additionally, many fruits and vegetables have an abrasive texture that can help clean teeth and stimulate saliva production. If all else fails, consider a visit to your dentist to determine the root cause of bad breath.
Schedule regular dental checkups
We recommend patients schedule at least two routine appointments a year for a cleaning and checkup. Preventative maintenance is important for catching and treating any issues before they become more serious. This includes cavities, gum disease, bad breath, and more. Regular checkups can also detect small changes in your oral health that you may not have noticed otherwise. For example, you may notice that you have sensitive teeth when you eat hot or cold foods but weren’t aware this was the reason for your discomfort. A trip to the dentist can help pinpoint the cause of these issues so you can receive prompt treatment before your condition worsens.
To learn more tips to improve your oral health, contact University Oaks Dental, 6363 San Felipe St #200b, Houston, TX 77057 at (713) 461-8012, or schedule an appointment with us through our website.