No one wants bad breath, but everyone gets it—or at least worries about it—at one time or another. Here are some things you can do to keep bad breath to a minimum:
- Eliminate the bacteria and food particles that can cause bad breath. Floss, then brush your teeth, gums and tongue after each meal. Make this easier by keeping floss, toothpaste and a toothbrush in your desk, your purse and your car.
- If you can’t brush and floss, rinse your mouth with water after eating to dislodge food and moisten your mouth.
- Have your teeth cleaned and examined by a dental professional twice a year.
- If you are certain you have bad breath, seek out a Houston dentist who offers specialized treatment in that area.
- Learn the proper way to brush and practice what you learn.
- Drink lots of liquids, preferably water, to keep your mouth moist.
- If your mouth feels dry, chew sugarless gum to stimulate production of saliva.
- You can also chew on raw parsley—it’s a natural breath freshener.
- Baking soda is an effective odor eliminator; if you can handle the taste, try brushing with a mixture of baking soda and water. Or try a toothpaste that contains baking soda.
- Try rinsing your mouth for one minute with a 50-50 mixture of hydrogen peroxide and warm water to kill odor-causing bacteria.
- Avoid mouthwashes that contain alcohol; read the label! Instead, try a mouthwash that contains chlorine dioxide. This compound doesn’t just mask odor, it actually eliminates it at the source by attacking the odor-causing volatile sulfur compounds (VSCs).
- Snack on raw vegetables such as carrots, celery and red peppers. This stimulates production of saliva, and some Houston dentists believe it can help to remove plaque from your teeth.
- To avoid stress-related dry mouth, practice “conscious relaxation” in stressful situations: breathe deeply, visualize peaceful settings, recognize parts of your body that feel tense and consciously relax them. If you can’t get past the stress, chew sugarless gum or mints to keep the salivary glands going.
- Use an oral irrigation device such as a Waterpik to remove particles of food wedged between your teeth; portable models are available.
- If you wear dentures or a retainer, clean them frequently, and periodically soak them in an antiseptic solution.
- Bad breath that’s resistant to these remedies, or that continues for an extended period of time, should be evaluated by our Houston dentist.
You don’t have to live with bad breath. Recognize it, treat it, then kiss it goodbye!