Bad breath, known as halitosis, has been a problem since ancient times. If a person’s breath doesn’t smell nice, that could easily lead to social exclusion; we all know how unpleasant it is to talk face-to-face to a person with bad breath.
Although certain stomach conditions can cause bad breath, almost 95% of the cases are originated in the mouth. There are many things you can do to keep a fresh breath; here is a brief list of some of them.
Clean Your Mouth Thoroughly
Maybe the most important thing you can do for your breath is to take proper care of your mouth hygiene. As bad breath is caused by bacteria building up in your mouth and food chunks trapped between your teeth; keeping a good oral hygiene is the key to dramatically reduce halitosis.
Wash your mouth with fresh water before brushing. Water is a great way to get rid of many bacteria, and using it as a mouthwash makes it easier for the brush to eliminate debris and other unwanted things later. If your bad breath is really bad, add a teaspoon of baking soda to a glass of water.
Brush your teeth regularly, at least twice a day, preferably more. Each brushing session should last no less than three minutes, and should cover every tooth as well as the tongue and the palate. A tooth paste containing fluoride will not only clean your teeth, but also make them stronger.
Floss thoroughly to remove food in the space between your teeth, and use a fresh mouthwash to ensure a cool breath.
Get Rid Of Nasty Habits
Smoking not only leaves your mouth smelling like nicotine, but actually destroys vitamin C, which is in charge of fighting smell-producing bacteria. Worse yet, toxins present in the smoke make your tongue and glands swell and increase their temperature, making your mouth an ideal place for bacterial growth.
Alcohol also damages your mouth, destroying the cells on the surface of the tongue and leaving it prone to the accumulation of bacteria and debris.
Choose The Right Food
Certain types of food will help you fight against bad breath, while others will actually make it worse.
Garlic, onions and similar food contain high amounts of sulphur, which combines with your saliva and other components and produce all kinds of chemical derivatives, most notably hydrogen sulfide, which cause fetid breath.
On the other hand, fruits and vegetables containing huge amounts of vitamin C will improve your mouth health, and thus your breath. Fiber and food loaded with vitamin B are also especially helpful, as are fresh aromatic herbs as spearmint, coriander and eucalyptus.
Keep It Wet And Healthy
Saliva has the great property of being an excellent bactericide. It serves as both an anti-bacterial agent (oxygenating the mouth and killing anaerobic bacteria) and as a cleaning agent, removing dead cells and debris.
For this reason, a dry mouth is much more prone to bad breath than a wet mouth. Try to keep your mouth filled of saliva to prevent it from drying. If you feel your mouth is dry, pop in a sugar-free mint or have a good drink of fresh water, to stimulate glands and increase saliva production.
These are just a few quick tips to get rid of halitosis, but there are many more. Don’t forget to ask your dental hygienist about them!