1. Floss & Use Mouthwash
Consider brushing your teeth equivalent to giving them a meal. Their main entree is a nice, thorough brushing, covering every inch of all 32 teeth. Once they’ve received a hearty meal, they get a nice dessert to fulfill their sweet tooth – flossing. After that, they need something to wash their meal down with, right? That’s where mouthwash comes in.
One of the main causes of bad breath is having food and bacteria tucked away in places that a toothbrush can’t reach. A lot of the time, small food particles will get lodged in an area practically untouchable by a toothbrush, which is why it is helpful to brush and floss after every meal in order to get rid of as much food as possible. Plaque also collects bacteria, so finding an antiseptic or antibacterial mouthwash will help reduce plaque and bacteria.
Make flossing and using mouthwash a habit as regular as brushing your teeth. Providing the best possible oral hygiene is the most efficient way to eliminating bad breath.
2. Brush Your Tongue
Unfortunately, your tongue acts as a major hub for all bacteria and odor-causing particles to stay on. Although you may have eliminated all of the bacteria on your teeth from following the previous tip, all bacteria that live on the tongue will simply transfer back to the teeth within a few hours of brushing.
It’s recommended that you brush the entire surface of your tongue, including the top, sides, and back. People with a gag reflex may find trouble in brushing the back part of the tongue, in which case a tongue scraper may prove to be helpful. It’s also recommended that you brush your tongue from back to front in order to scrape off all bacteria. Regardless of the way it’s done, try and brush your tongue as often as your brush your teeth, and preferably after every meal.
3. Avoid Smelly Foods
Along with avoiding foods that decay tooth enamel, we encourage you to avoid foods that are more likely to give off odor-causing bacteria, such as garlic and onion.
As you may already know, garlic is the king of bad breath. After eating garlic, your body absorbs the allyl methyl sulfide into the bloodstream, which gets transferred into the lungs and out into the air you surrounding you. As if that weren’t enough to make you avoid garlic forever, the gas is also released through the skin, staying in the bloodstream for days after consumption. Needless to say, avoiding garlic is probably in your best interest.
4. Drink Water
In order to provide the mouth with saliva that assists in washing out bacteria and keeping the teeth and gums moisturized, drink as much water as possible throughout the day. A lack of saliva causes dry mouth, which then causes bad breath. Dry mouth can be a side effect of many different medications, but is a very common problem people face today.
Breath smells worse in the morning because the mouth produces less saliva over night. In order to increase saliva production, it’s recommended that you drink 8 glasses of water a day. Staying hydrated is key to preventing dry mouth and essentially eliminating bad breath.
5. Attend Regular Dental Appointments
Although it may seem like an obvious step to take, attending regular dental cleanings will help eliminate bad breath. Your dentist will spend majority of your appointment making sure that all unnecessary bacteria is eliminated from your mouth by providing deep-cleaning tactics and picking at the corners of your mouth that you may otherwise not get to.
Your dentist will also give you a hands-on lesson to the best ways to brush and floss. Even though dental hygiene may seem like an elementary thing to learn, it’s important that you keep up with the best brushing and flossing tactics in order to have the best dental hygiene.
6. Check For Other Symptoms
Sometimes bad breath may not be because of bacteria in your mouth, but instead from acids and bacteria in your stomach. Dysbiosis refers to having a medical imbalance of good and bad bacteria in the stomach, and may be the cause of bad breath. A healthy gut typically has about 85% good bacteria and 15% bad bacteria. An imbalance of bad bacteria in the gut will cause gas that raises through the digestive system and comes out in your breath.
In order to maintain a healthy digestive system, consider avoiding processed foods and factory-farmed meats, as these contribute more bad bacteria than good. To rebalance your gut, keep up with your healthy eating. Try to incorporate nutrient-rich foods into your diet, including unprocessed foods and a lot of vegetables.