Bad breath, also known as halitosis, is a socially embarrassing problem that can be caused by poor oral hygiene habits or an underlying medical problem. There are a number of steps you can take to prevent bad breath, and there are also steps you can take to eliminate bad breath if it has already formed.
Brush Your Teeth Twice Daily
The bristles of your toothbrush can reach the bacteria and food particles that hide between teeth. Be sure to brush thoroughly for two to three minutes each time. Also, make sure to choose a toothbrush with the ADA Seal of Acceptance, which means it has been evaluated for safety and effectiveness based on scientific evidence. When shopping for a new toothbrush, look for soft bristles. Hard-bristled brushes are too harsh on the gums and can lead to receding gums!
Floss At Least Once A Day
The easiest way to get rid of bad breath is to keep your teeth and gums clean. This can be achieved through a combination of brushing and flossing. In addition to keeping your mouth clean and healthy, allowing bacteria to breed in your mouth can lead to plaque buildup, gum disease, tooth decay, and even tooth loss. To clean between the teeth and under the gum line, be sure to floss every day. This is especially true at night before going to bed when bacteria growth in the mouth is most active. Choose a floss that glides comfortably between teeth without hurting the sensitive gum tissues. A water flosser can be a good choice if you have trouble using traditional dental floss. These handheld devices shoot a stream of water into the mouth to help dislodge food and bacteria trapped between teeth. Many patients find these devices to be very effective and easy to use!
Brush Your Tongue
A tongue scraper is a small disposable tool made of soft plastic that is specifically designed to clean the rough surface of the tongue where odor-causing bacteria live. Cleaning your tongue regularly can help prevent bad breath.
The best time to brush your tongue is in the morning after you’ve brushed your teeth and before you eat or drink anything. Gently move the scraper from the back of your tongue toward the front of your mouth several times until you’ve scraped the whole surface. Rinse the scraper and repeat until you’ve cleaned all sides of the tongue.
Clean Dentures Or Dental Appliances
You should clean your dentures daily while you have them on by removing any plaque buildup with a denture brush and water. When cleaning your dentures, be sure to use cleaners made specifically for dentures, as other products may damage them. When you are not wearing your dentures, store them in water or in a suitable soaking solution to keep them from warping, losing their shape, or becoming discolored.
Avoid Dry Mouth
Saliva protects the teeth and aids in the digestion of food. It also helps to neutralize acids and wash away food particles and debris on a regular basis. So, a lack of saliva in the mouth can lead to several problems, such as bad breath, gum disease, tooth decay, and more. People who wear orthodontic braces, experience dry mouth more often because of reduced saliva flow resulting from wearing the device. Other causes of dry mouth include side effects of medications such as antihistamines, decongestants, painkillers, muscle relaxants, diuretics, and other sedating drugs. Without saliva to rinse food debris from the mouth, plaque buildup can occur, leading to cavities, gingivitis, and periodontal disease. To combat this, drink plenty of water and use products recommended by your dentist.
A visit to your dentist in National City, CA, is the perfect way to start your journey to better oral health! Call M.Hirota, DMD, at (619) 474-4695 today to schedule your next appointment or make your next new patient appointment online. We look forward to helping you achieve a healthier, happier smile!