Bad breath is a common confidence killer. Unpleasant breath can be embarrassing, whether on a first date, during a job interview, or meeting new friends. We’ve all been there - but fret not, curing stinky breath may be simpler than you think!
What Causes Bad Breath?
Bad breath is incredibly common. It may happen from time to time after a particularly aromatic meal or between brushing. However, 1 in 4 people suffer from more persistent bad breath called halitosis.
Most likely, oral hygiene habits - or lack thereof - are to blame for bad breath. Not brushing thoroughly can lead to bad breath, as bacteria in the mouth causes decay and an unpleasant smell. By increasing your brushing, rinsing after eating, and flossing thoroughly between teeth twice daily, you’ll significantly decrease instances of bad breath.
After oral hygiene, consider lifestyle factors that can cause bad breath, like smoking and excessive coffee consumption. These habits can dehydrate the mouth and adhere bad-smelling molecules to the teeth. For example, smokers often have breath that smells like smoke, even a long time after lighting up. To prevent this kind of bad breath, consider giving up or reducing smoking and drinking coffee.
Of course, if bad breath is persistent, more significant issues may be to blame. Beyond halitosis, bad breath can hint at an imbalanced microbiome, medication side effects, and tooth decay or cavities. If you can’t seem to rectify your bad breath through proper hygiene and eating habits, consult with your dentist or doctor, as they may be able to advise you on other steps to take.
The other common cause of bad breath is a diet. Some foods have more persistent odors: think of garlic, onions, and brussels sprouts. After eating these, your breath smells stinky. Did you know you can also eat certain foods to prevent bad breath? Keep reading to learn the hidden culprits behind bad breath and six foods to eat to get rid of bad breath and instantly improve confidence!
5 Ways to Fight Bad Breath
If you’re struggling with bad breath or simply want to ensure a confident first date, consider making the following changes to your lifestyle.
1. Examine Your Diet
As previously mentioned, your diet has a significant impact on your breath. Of course, there are some foods to steer clear of for better breath. Here is a list of foods that cause bad breath:
-Horseradish and other fermented foods
-Pasta sauce and other acidic foods
However, foods can also benefit your breath! Here are some foods that help keep your breath fresh:
-Raw fruits and vegetables - these contain lots of fiber and have a high water content that helps to brush and wash away leftover food particles and bacteria to prevent bad breath
-Probiotic yogurt - helps to balance the oral microbiome and reduce bad breath, causing acids in the mouth
-Parsley and basil
-Lots of water
2. Try Hydrogen Peroxide
Hydrogen peroxide is often used for whitening teeth, but it’s also helpful to maintain a healthy, clean mouth and prevent bad breath. Hydrogen peroxide helps to deep clean the mouth and remove bad-breath-causing bacteria. Consider using a whitening device or gel to brighten your teeth while neutralizing the odor to utilize hydrogen peroxide.
3. Maintain Proper Oral Hygiene
Starting and maintaining an oral health routine will significantly reduce the likelihood of bad breath. To reduce the possibility of bad breath and keep your teeth clean, implement the following steps to your dental care routine:
-Brush teeth twice daily, thoroughly brushing with a soft-bristle brush in circular strokes for two minutes per brushing session
-Choose a fluoride toothpaste
-Floss gently twice daily after brushing, sliding the floss along the side of the tooth to the gum line, removing debris from between teeth
-If desired, add a deep cleaning toothpaste topper with hydrogen peroxide that cleans better than brushing and flossing alone
-Rinse with a mouthwash after brushing
-Rinse with water or brush teeth after meals
4. Stay Hydrated
Maintaining adequate hydration is a key to fresh breath. Drinking enough water helps to keep the mouth moist and prevent dehydration. This allows food particles and bacteria to wash away from the tooth, preventing tooth decay and balancing the oral microbiome. For optimal health and fresh breath, aim to drink 12-15 cups of water (2.7-3.7 liters) each day.
5. Frequent the Dentist
Your dentist is your partner in achieving excellent oral health. Your dentist is trained to remove plaque build-up, assess decay, and help you to establish good habits. In addition, visiting the dentist regularly rules out more damaging causes of bad breath, such as tooth decay, gum issues, and the like.
You should be visiting the dentist at least twice a year for regular cleanings. Your dentist will thoroughly clean your teeth, check your gums, and assess any decay during this appointment. Your dentist will then provide feedback on what next steps you need to take to maintain proper health - like filling a cavity to prevent further decay.
Of course, if you experience any problems between cleanings, such as persistent bad breath, a chipped tooth, or tooth or gum pain, be sure to visit your dentist right away.
Keep it Fresh!
Bad breath is a bummer, but it’s relatively easy to rectify! By implementing a proper oral hygiene routine, drinking enough water, eating a healthy balanced diet, and visiting your dentist, you’ll be able to achieve fresh breath. Your smile is a gift worth sharing. So if you’re hoping to achieve fresh breath and a brighter smile, consider implementing an advanced whitening device to whiten your teeth and clean your mouth!