How To Prevent Bad Breath
If you love coffee, garlic, or spicy food but they leave a bad taste in your mouth, you may be dealing with bad breath problems. Millions of people battle bad breath every day. You can win the battle – and the war – against bad breath by learning its causes and ways to get rid of it.
Why Do I Have Bad Breath?
Dreaded bad breath can be caused by many factors. The good news is that most of these are in your control, and even if you are genetically disposed to bad breath, there are steps you can take to reduce or eliminate it.
Bad breath can be caused by:
- Bacteria: Did you know you have hundreds of types of bacteria that live in your mouth at all times? These bacteria help break down the food you eat, and the residue can create an odor. To stop bad breath from bacteria, a simple swish of an anti-bacterial mouthwash or a good tooth brushing is all it takes.
- Dry mouth: Saliva helps clean your mouth and keep your breath smelling fresh. If you experience dry mouth due to medications you take, a genetic predisposition, or because you breathe through your mouth, this lack of saliva can lead to a bad taste in your mouth and breath problems. Chewing gum can sometimes stimulate your mouth to produce more saliva and help keep it clean. All chewing gum stimulates saliva production, but sugar-free gum is best for your teeth and oral health.
- Food: The types of food you eat can cause bad breath. You probably already know that coffee and garlic are some of the worst offenders. Other foods that can lead to foul fumes from your mouth include: canned tuna or other canned fish, onions, chilis, curries, dairy (especially cheese), and horseradish. You can avoid these foods to prevent bad breath or brush your teeth shortly after eating to get rid of bad breath before it becomes obvious and embarrassing.
- Smoking and tobacco use: Smoking not only stains your teeth but it also damages your gums, leading to bad breath. To make matters worse, smoking damages your sense of smell, so you may not even know just how bad your breath smells. Smokers should take extra care to hydrate and brush their teeth frequently to control bad breath.
- Gum disease: If you have chronic bad breath and a constant bad taste in your mouth, it’s time to see your dentist. You may have advanced gum disease, that can be created by a buildup of plaque in your mouth. Gum disease can start slowly and then be a major problem; regular dental checkups are a good strategy.
- Digestive issues: If you have Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Crohn’s Disease, Celiac Disease or acid reflux, you can get bad breath as gases from your digestive system are released through your mouth. Keeping your digestive issues under control through your diet and other strategies your doctor has provided will also help lessen your bad breath. Brushing your teeth or using a plaque-fighting mouth rinse after eating can also help.
- Underlying medical conditions: If you’ve ruled out all of the other causes and you are still plagued by bad breath, see your doctor. Several underlying medical conditions can cause symptoms of bad breath.
Dreaded Morning Breath! What to do?
Let’s face it. Morning breath is uncool. Waking up with a dry mouth or tongue, or a bad taste in your mouth or throat is a sure sign that your breath is less-than-fragrant. As soon as you wake up, head to the sink for your oral hygiene routine. Brush your teeth, floss, brush your tongue, and swish with a bacteria-fighting, mouth-freshening oral rinse.
If coffee is part of your morning routine, be aware that drinking coffee tends to make bad breath worse. Not only is coffee a strong-smelling food that leaves an odor in your mouth, but it also reduces saliva production. A dry mouth leads to more bacteria odor. After you drink coffee, brush your teeth or rinse with a neutralizing mouthwash and take care to hydrate. A good rule of thumb is to drink 2 ounces of water for every ounce of coffee you drink.
How to Help Get Rid of Bad Breath Naturally with Good Oral Hygiene
The best way to battle bad breath is by taking care of your teeth and gums. Here are some tips:
- Brush regularly. If you have bad breath, brush at least two times per day, morning and evening, and preferably after every meal. The sooner you brush after eating, the more effective you will be in preventing bad breath. The longer the food debris stays in your mouth, the more time for the bacteria to break it down and release odor.
- Use a deodorizing toothpaste. Not all toothpastes are created equal. Arm & Hammer™ toothpastes contain baking soda, which rapidly neutralizes acids and attacks plaque – that can cause of bad breath. Arm & Hammer™ Toothpastes are clinically proven to remove up to 5 times more plaque in hard-to-reach places than non-baking soda toothpastes. There are several toothpastes, so you can choose the one that is best for you. All contain the neutralizing, stain-fighting, bad-breath-banishing power of baking soda.
- A dry mouth exacerbates bad breath. Certain drinks such as coffee, tea, and alcohol lead to dehydration or a lack of saliva production. Many medications have a dehydrating effect. Try to drink ounces of water equal to 50% of your body weight or more every day. Drinking water has other health benefits in addition to fighting bad breath.
- Keep the saliva flowing. If you experience dry mouth or a chronic bad taste in your mouth, you can stimulate saliva production by eating healthy crunchy foods such as raw celery and carrots. Chewing sugar-free gum can also help you produce more saliva and reduce bad breath odor.
- Visit your dentist regularly. A good oral care routine includes regular dental checkups. Your dentist will check for signs of tooth decay, cavities, receding gums, and gum disease. All of these oral issues can create bad breath.
Baking Soda to Fight Bad Breath
Try these Arm & Hammer dental care products to say goodbye to bad breath, morning breath, and bad tastes in your mouth.
- Arm & Hammer™ Advance White™ Extreme Whitening Toothpaste for fighting plaque and bad breath with our most extreme whitening benefits.
- Arm & Hammer™ Complete Care™ Toothpaste for whitening, stain-defense, and fighting bad breath.
- Arm & Hammer™ Advance White™ Breath Freshening Toothpaste controls bad breath odors for hours and neutralizes acids that can cause it. Plus, it blasts away plaque and whitens.
Tips to freshen things up
Be Sensitive to Your Teeth
Avoid citrus and acidic foods that may trigger tooth sensitivity.
Change is Good
Replace your brush every 3 months so bristles are still effective at fighting plaque and decay.
Fight Plaque 2X a Day
Plaque forms quickly, so brush twice a day to help protect your enamel — and your smile.
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