One of the first things we notice, or our partners notice – is ‘bad breath’.
Bad breath can be caused by a few medical conditions, but is usually caused by bacteria in the mouth that hasn’t been cleaned out properly.
Bacteria are smelly.
Plaque is a whitish build up on your teeth that is made up of lots of bacteria, and when they’re not cleaned out regularly, from teeth, the tongue, or from underneath the gumline – then they can start to smell noticeably.
So How Do We Prevent It?
- Brushing and flossing. Properly.
Twice daily brushing, and once daily flossing is the best way to remove plaque before it starts building up to be too smelly. But if you’re just skimming over your teeth with a toothbrush it wont remove the bacteria – so watch a video on youtube, or ask your dentist to show you some great techniques that really help remove the bacteria.
- Regular Dental Visits.
When plaque is missed it can become hardened and impossible to remove by a brush anymore. Dentist recommend checkups every six months to not only look for problems starting, but also to clean any of this hardened plaque and prevent it causing many more problems later – one of which is bad breath.
- Brush (or scrape!) Your Tongue.
The surface of your tongue is rough with lots of tastebuds. Bacteria like to hide in this and you may even see them if your tongue is whitish in appearance. It’s recommended to clean your tongue by a thorough brushing, or even better by using a tongue scraper device.
- Avoid Foods That Sour Your Breath.
Onions and garlic are the prime offenders. These kinds of foods contain oils and chemicals that can enter your bloodstream, travel to your lungs and even through to your finger tips. Brushing won’t really help with these kidns of foods so if you have an important social or work occasion, it’s best to avoid them if you’ll be concerned about your breath.
- Smoking Cessation. Kick the habit.
Smoking is a topic all unto its own in terms of the medical problems it can give rise to – but the way it works with bad breath is by spreading tars and other chemicals through your mouth. These can smell bad on their own but smoking also reduces saliva flow. This means bacteria do not get washed away as frequently and can cause different strains of bacteria to grow. Speak to your dentist about what programs may be available to help you kick the habit for good.
- Rinse Your Mouth.
After eating, swishing your mouth briefly with just plain water will help remove any food particles and get your mouth back to a neutral acidity level. This will prevent bacteria growing as rapidly and reduce the chance that your breath will start to smell a few hours after a meal. Mouthrinses or anti-bacterial mouthwashes are available for extra protection by reducing the bacteria in the mouth to help with the bacteria that are missed with general brushing.
- Chew Gum.
Sugarless chewing gums stimulate saliva production which is the mouth’s natural defense mechanism against plaque acids. After a meal, the chewing will also help get rid of food particles and bring your mouth acidity level to neutral. Sugary candies promote the growth of bacteria in your mouth and add to bad breath problems. Instead, chew sugarless gum. “Gum stimulates saliva, which is the mouth’s natural defense mechanism against plaque acids which cause tooth decay and bad breath.