How To Get Rid of Bad Breath
Some people are convinced they have bad breath when their breath is completely neutral. Others have terrible breath and don’t know it. It can be hard to smell your own breath, let alone judge its odor.
Ask someone you trust to give you an honest opinion sometime in the middle of the day, and not right after polishing off a tuna sandwich with extra onions.
If your suspicions are confirmed and your breath is problematic, don’t worry. There are many home remedies that can eliminate bad breath. Let’s take a closer look at some of them.
Brush and floss more often.
Plaque, the sticky buildup on your teeth, collects bacteria that cause bad breath. Trapped food also adds to the problem.
Brush your teeth at least two times each day, and floss at least once. If you’re concerned about your breath, do both a little more often.
Don’t overdo things, though. If you brush too hard you can wear down your teeth, making them vulnerable to decay.
Rinse your mouth out.
Besides freshening your breath, a mouthwash adds extra protection by getting rid of bacteria. A fresh minty taste can make you feel good. But be sure the mouthwash you choose kills the germs that cause bad breath. Don’t just cover up the smell. Rinse daily with a good mouthwash and stop bad breath at its source.
Scrape your tongue.
The coating that normally forms on your tongue can be a host for smelly bacteria. To get rid of them, gently brush your tongue with your toothbrush.
If your brush is too big to comfortably reach the back of your tongue, try a scraper. They’re designed specifically to apply even pressure across the surface of the tongue area. This removes bacteria, food debris, and dead cells that brushing alone can’t take care of.
Avoid foods that sour your breath.
Onions and garlic are big offenders. But brushing after you eat them doesn’t help.
The substances that cause their bad smells make their way into your bloodstream and travel to your lungs.
Changing Your Habits
Consider chewing gum. Any gum will help with bad breath because the chewing action results in more saliva being produced. Some gums, however, have better bad-breath-fighting abilities than others:
- Cinnamon flavoring seems to be especially effective in reducing bacteria counts in your mouth.
- Look for gum sweetened with xylitol sugar only feeds the bacteria, causing more odor problems. Xylitol is a sugar substitute that actually works to prevent bacteria from replicating in the mouth.
Keep your mouth moisturized. A dry mouth is a stinky mouth. That’s why your breath is worse in the morning; your mouth produces less saliva as you sleep. Saliva is the enemy of bad breath because not only does it physically wash bacteria and food particles away, but it also has antiseptic and enzymes that kill bacteria.
- Chewing gum stimulates saliva production in addition to covering up the odor with some kind of scent. Mints do not encourage saliva production.
- Drink water. Swish the water between your teeth from side to side. Water won’t necessarily increase saliva production, but it’ll wash out your mouth and it is good for you. See How to Drink More Water Every Day.
- Dry mouth can be caused by certain medications and medical conditions. Ask your doctor about switching medications, or addressing the underlying condition.
Stop smoking and chewing tobacco products. In case you needed yet another reason to stop this dangerous habit, tobacco is notorious for causing bad breath.
- Tobacco addiction can be a hard habit to break.
- In some cases, bad breath can be an early sign of oral cancer caused by smoking or chewing tobacco. It is vital that you stop smoking and see your doctor to be evaluated for this very serious condition.