10 Ways to Prevent Bad Breath
An Asheville dentist shares a few tips to keep it fresh.
Halitosis, more commonly referred to as “bad breath,” can be a real social buzz-kill. So your Asheville dentist wants you to know how to avoid being a halitosis pariah.
Certainly, the mint and gum industries recognize the significant need for fighting bad breath, as they sell billions of dollars’ worth of products. But those products merely mask the odor; they don’t do anything to treat the smell at its source. So how can you prevent the problem in the first place?
What’s That in Your Mouth?
Typically, bad breath gets its start in your mouth, making your Asheville dentist an ally in the ongoing war against halitosis. Common causes include:
- Tobacco is an obvious source of nasty-smelling breath. It can do that all on its own, never mind the gum disease that nicotine can create, which has its own distinct odor.
- Food particles that break down and get stuck in your teeth turn into smelly bacteria rather quickly. And some foods (anyone for onions and garlic?) have naturally offensive odors unique unto themselves.
- Laziness is probably one of the most common culprits. Every time you skip brushing or put off flossing, you give nasty bacteria a warm snugly home in which it can grow and turn sour. Not brushing allows a slimy film of plaque to settle on your teeth and turn smellier than a dead fish on a hot summer afternoon.
- Infections often put out a bad smell. Alert your Asheville dentist after any kind of oral surgery to make sure you don’t develop an odor-producing problem.
- Certain medication and illnesses like cancer and metabolic disorders often have side effects such as bad breath that are difficult to manage. Your Asheville dentist can make a recommendation.
10 Tips for Sweet Breath
Your Asheville dentist may have to refer you to your primary care physician if he suspects a medical condition. But there are plenty of other solutions to cure your bad breath. Ask your dentist about getting you back to being kissable and employable:
- Do not skip brushing. Do it twice a day, as recommended.
- Floss daily to root out those stubborn bacteria that can form even from the tiniest piece of leftover food between your teeth.
- Rinse daily with a mouthwash containing cetylpyridinium chloride or chlorhexidine.
- Brush with a toothpaste that includes an antibacterial agent in the ingredients.
- Replace tooth restorations that are old and may be trapping food particles.
- Increase the number of cleanings you get from two to three or four a year if you have periodontal disease. It leads to bacteria-trapping pockets between your teeth and gums.
- Brush your tongue or use an appliance called a tongue rake.
- Brush immediately after eating.
- Purchase a new, soft-bristled brush every three months.
- Keep your mouth moist and avoid dry mouth by drinking lots of water, chewing gum or sucking on mints. Your Asheville dentist can recommend an oral medication to stimulate saliva if you need it. After all, saliva is nature’s bath for your mouth.
—The Zöe Dental Team