Before we start pointing fingers, who hasn’t a bout with stinky too- much-garlic-on-my-pizza breath? If you find it’s happening more often then you’d like, you might need a total diet and oral hygiene reboot. After all isn’t fresh breath something you want everyday?
August 6 is National Fresh Breath Day and August 7-13 is National Smile Week. Seems like the perfect opportunity to make the changes that will give you the confidence to unleash your biggest smile all year long!
What causes bad breath?
Halitosis, another word for stinky breath, can have many causes:
All food gets absorbed into your bloodstream and moves into the lungs affecting the air you exhale. The more potent the odor (think garlic and onions) the longer it lingers.
Not enough food
Dieters who don’t eat often enough can have bad breath. When your body breaks down fat, the process releases chemicals that can give your breath an unpleasant smell.
Poor dental habits
Brush and floss 2x a day for 2 minutes is the gold standard for oral health and fresh breath. What happens when you brush and floss irregularly? Food particles remain in your mouth, causing bacterial growth between the teeth, around the gums and on the tongue. This could lead to tooth decay and gum disease, which can make your breath smell rancid.
A condition called dry mouth or xerostomia can contribute to bad breath because production of saliva is decreased. Dry mouth naturally occurs during sleep, leading to “morning breath,” and it worsens if you sleep with your mouth open. Chronic dry mouth can be caused by a problem with your salivary glands or other illnesses.
A sign of other health problems
Infections or chronic inflammation in the nose, sinuses or throat, can cause bad breath. Chronic reflux of stomach acids (gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD) is also associated with bad breath.
8-ways to freshen your breath
Water is needed to provide liquid for adequate saliva production. In addition, as you drink water, it rinses away leftover food particles and oral bacteria that may be residing in your mouth.
2.Snack on crunchy fruits and veggies
Crunchy fruits or vegetables can help to remove food particles that are stuck to your teeth. If you’re still looking for something to munch on after eating, an apple or some celery sticks could help to neutralize your breath.
3.Chew sugarless gum containing xylitol
Gum contributes to better breath for a few reasons: First, the act of chewing stimulates the flow of saliva, which, remember, helps flush away bacteria. Second, it helps pick up food that’s been left behind. And third, xylitol, a sweetener, is also an antibacterial.
4.Chew on fresh mint or parsley
We all know that mint leaves will freshen your breath. But parsley, basil and cilantro also contain chlorophyll, which neutralizes the odors in your mouth.
5.Brush your tongue
When you brush and floss, your teeth and gums are the primary emphasis. However, don’t forget about the bacteria hiding on your tongue, which releases a byproduct that can make your breath reek. Brush your tongue with a toothbrush or use a special tongue scraper to get your whole mouth as clean as possible.
6.Rinse with mouthwash
Mouthwash kills bacteria, which is good for freshening your breath. However, it’s important to choose an alcohol- free mouthwash that won’t dry out your mouth (remember dry mouth leads to stinky breath! ⬆️)
7.Disinfect your retainer
You should brush your retainer, Invisalign, mouth guard or other removable oral appliances every day.
8.See your dentist regularly
Depending on your oral condition, see your dentist and hygienist as regularly as needed. Usually twice a year should suffice. While you’re there, don’t hesitate to bring up any concerns if you’ve tried everything and your bad breath still isn’t going away.