We occasionally get asked by patients at Liberty Family Dentistry, “What can I do about bad breath?”
If you’re wondering about this issue, you are not alone. According to the American Dental Hygienists’ Association, 40 million Americans suffer from issues with bad breath.
Does bad breath creep into your personal or professional life? Do you ever feel self-conscious when you speak with others? We’d like to recommend a few simple solutions that have worked for Liberty patients.
1. KEEP YOUR MOUTH CLEAN
Brush and Floss Consistently
Brush twice a day and floss at least once, preferably at night. Maintaining a regular regimen of brushing and flossing will not only keep your teeth healthy, but also remove bad smelling bacteria from between your teeth.
Scrape Your Tongue
When you brush your teeth, gently brush your tongue with your toothbrush or buy a tongue scraper to do the job. Bad smelling bacteria often live in the natural whitish coating on your tongue.
Because bad smelling bacteria can build up in hard to reach places, we recommend using an antibacterial mouthwash as part of your oral hygiene routine.
2. WATCH WHAT YOU PUT IN YOUR MOUTH
Avoid Smelly Foods
If it has a strong odor going in, it will probably smell bad when you breathe it out. Onions and tuna do not magically change their smell as your body processes them. In fact, these foods actually enter your blood stream during digestion, traveling to your lungs and keeping the nasty smell alive as you breathe. While brushing and mouthwash may provide a temporary relief for those around you, the smell will remain until these foods have been completely digested.
Consume Breath-Helping Food and Drink
Certain foods and drink can help reduce bacteria and keep your breath smelling nice. Here are a few breath-helping foods and drinks.
Foods – Parsley, Yogurt, Apples, Pears, Oranges, Melons, Berries, Carrots, Celery, Cucumbers, and Almonds.Drink – Water (lots of it) and Green Tea.
Chew Sugar-Free Gum After Meals
Chewing Sugar-Free gum produces more saliva, which works to chase away food particles before they have a chance to break down, decay, and smell.
3. VISIT US REGULARLY
Maintain Healthy Gums
Gum disease causes bad breath as bacteria accumulates along the base of your teeth. Consistent brushing and flossing supports gum health, but it’s also very important to visit Liberty Family Dentistry regularly so we can catch any gum issues before they become serious.
Wet Your Whistle
Because saliva is the body’s natural defense mechanism against harmful bacteria, persistent dry mouth can lead to tooth decay and bad breath. Whether it may be medications or other reasons causing your dry mouth, we will help you find solutions.
Come See Us
If you’ve tried it all and you can’t seem to chase the bad breath away, come see us. The doctors at Liberty Family Dentistry are here to help. (Be aware that persistent bad breath may point to a more serious medical condition like diabetes, lung infection, sinus infection, and even liver or kidney disease.)
If you are experiencing chronic bad breath or have questions, please contact our office for an appointment.