Bad breath, medically known as halitosis, can be an embarrassing problem. Unfortunately, there are many possible causes for bad breath, so identifying and treating it can be difficult. Listed below are a few of the most common ways to address bad breath.
Brush your teeth twice daily
When you brush your teeth, be sure to brush for at least two minutes each time. This will help to thoroughly clean your mouth and prevent bacteria from staying in place and causing bad breath. In addition, make sure that you replace your toothbrush every three months. Over time, your toothbrush will become worn and less effective at removing plaque and food particles. A new toothbrush is also less likely to irritate your gums and cause bleeding.
Brushing your teeth also helps to prevent tartar buildup, which can also contribute to bad breath. Tartar is a yellow substance that builds up on teeth over time and cannot be removed with brushing alone. It requires professional cleaning by a dentist to be removed. By maintaining a regular schedule with your dental care provider for cleanings, you can prevent tartar from building up in the first place.
Floss at least once a day
In addition to brushing twice daily, you should also floss daily to remove food particles and plaque from between teeth and under the gum line. This helps to eliminate any odor-causing bacteria and can prevent gum disease from occurring. If you have braces, then flossing is even more important. Food can easily become trapped in braces and can cause decay to occur if it is not removed properly.
Nothing can match the effectiveness of flossing when it comes to removing harmful bacteria and food particles from your mouth. Besides, it only takes a few seconds to floss. If time is of the essence for you, then the Waterpik might be a better option than the traditional string floss.
Dental visits give us a better look at your oral health to determine the cause of the bad breath. We can then recommend the appropriate treatment to help you eliminate bad breath for good.
Brush your tongue
Bushing the tongue seems to be one of the most impactful methods for eliminating bad breath. This is because our tongues are home to the anaerobic bacteria that cause bad breath. By removing those bacteria from the surface of the tongue, you effectively reduce the production of sulfur compounds that smell like rotten eggs. For optimal results, it is recommended you use a soft-bristled toothbrush or a tongue scraper to gently clean the surface of your tongue.
Clean dentures or dental appliances
It's essential to clean your dentures or dental appliances every day. Failing to do so can increase the risk of gum disease and tooth decay. Your dentist can recommend a specific denture cleaning product for you to use and a schedule to follow. In some cases, your dentures or dental appliances may need to be professionally cleaned to remove plaque buildup. Make sure you follow your dental care provider's instructions carefully.
Avoid dry mouth
Dry mouth is a side effect of some medications and certain medical conditions such as Sjögren syndrome and diabetes. Saliva washes away food particles and neutralizes acids produced by plaque, bacteria, and other toxins in the mouth. When there is not enough saliva to wash away the harmful substances, they can linger and cause bad breath. Drinking plenty of water can help relieve dry mouth. Chewing sugar-free gum or using artificial saliva products can also encourage the production of saliva. In addition, dentists may prescribe oral rinses and toothpaste that are designed to combat dry mouth. However, be sure to check with your dentist before using these products to make sure they are safe to use together.
Adjust your diet
Certain foods can smell bad and result in bad breath. Keep foods like garlic, onion, coffee, alcoholic beverages, tobacco products, etc., to a minimum, or avoid them altogether to prevent bad breath.
If you've tried adjusting your diet but still have chronic bad breath, be sure to come to see us so we can determine the cause of your bad breath and recommend the best treatment.
Regularly get a new toothbrush
The American Dental Association recommends replacing your toothbrush every three to four months or when the bristles become frayed. Although a worn-out toothbrush may not look as clean as one that's fresh out of the package, the bristles can become stiff and less effective at cleaning teeth. Furthermore, old toothbrushes can harbor bacteria that can lead to infection.
Schedule regular dental checkups
Regular visits to the dentist are important because they help to prevent oral health problems like bad breath from happening and to catch them early if they do occur. Visiting the dentist on a regular basis also helps patients keep their teeth clean and healthy at all times. Patients should visit their dentist every four to six months for routine cleanings, examinations, and oral cancer screenings.
To learn more about best practices for oral health, call Bay Area Dental at (510) 350-8187 or visit our dental office at 3300 Webster Street, #907, Oakland, CA 94609. Book your appointment with our dentist in Oakland, CA, to achieve the smile you have always wished for.