Bad breath, medically referred to as halitosis, can be an indicator of other health problems. It can also be caused by poor dental health habits. Practicing good oral hygiene habits can help to prevent halitosis. Read on to learn a few helpful tips.
Brushing your teeth
The solution to halitosis and bad breath really boils down to practicing good oral hygiene. By brushing and flossing you remove bacteria and the biofilm that they form in your mouth. You should also brush your tongue because it harbors bacteria and can transfer that bacteria to other areas of your mouth. When you brush your teeth, you should make sure that you are brushing for at least two minutes per session in order to effectively clean your teeth and gums. Also, you’ll want to change your toothbrush about every three to six months in order to avoid reintroducing more bacteria into your mouth.
Besides brushing, you should also be sure to floss every day as this will help to get in between your teeth and remove plaque that the bristles of your toothbrush can’t reach. Food can get caught in hard-to-reach places between your teeth, especially in the back of your mouth. Removing this food is essential for preventing plaque buildup, which leads to cavities and gum disease, as well as removing trapped food and bacteria that can affect the odor of your breath. This is where flossing plays an essential role in achieving and maintaining fresh breath and overall good oral health. Flossing should be done at least once per day and should be part of your nightly teeth-cleaning routine.
Brushing your tongue
Cleaning your tongue is just as important as brushing your teeth. Food particles and bacteria can collect on your tongue and cause bad breath. The easiest and most effective way to clean the back of your tongue is by using a tongue scraper. The American Dental Association recommends cleaning your tongue at least once daily using a good oral hygiene routine.
Clean your dentures and dental appliances
When properly cared for, your dentures will keep your mouth healthy by allowing you to eat and speak normally. However, if they are not cleaned regularly and allowed to become too moist, they can cause bad odors as well as tooth decay. Talk to your dentist about proper denture care.
Prevent dry mouth
A lack of saliva is generally noted by patients as one of the main contributors to bad breath. Saliva helps wash away bacteria and food that can lead to foul odors. Drinking plenty of water to stay hydrated and chewing sugar-free gum or mints can be good ways to stimulate your salivary glands. Other ways to prevent dry mouth include avoiding tobacco and caffeine products, as both can dry out your mouth.
Take care of your diet
Many foods can affect the bacteria in your mouth and cause bad breath. Some of the most common foods that cause bad breath include garlic, onions, dairy products, and certain spices. Other foods that are considered bad for your dental health include sugary foods and beverages, as they can cause tooth decay. Limiting these foods can help eliminate or reduce bad breath.
To learn more or to schedule an appointment with us, visit our office, Midtown Dental, at 750 George Washington Way, Richland, WA, Suite 1 99352. You can also reach us at (509) 946-1678.