August 1st, 2023
August 6th is National Fresh Breath Day. Join us in celebrating this special occasion by learning a few valuable tips on how to maintain minty-fresh breath and steer clear of any uncomfortable moments.
Watch What You Eat
Remember, you are what you eat! Certain foods have a significant impact on the smell of your breath. Garlic, onion, canned tuna, and horseradish are notorious for leaving a distinct odor that lingers in the mouth for hours. Furthermore, foods that are acidic or high in fructose can expedite bacteria production in the oral cavity, leading to less-than-pleasant-smelling breath. However, not all foods leave a smell behind. Crunchy fruits and vegetables, yogurt, and parsley are all foods that promote fresh breath.
Choose Drinks Wisely
Many people start their day by drinking a cup of coffee, but nobody wants evidence of their morning brew to stay on their breath. You may be curious why coffee leaves such a distinct scent. The process of roasting coffee beans causes sulfuric compounds to form. Unfortunately, when combined with the acidic properties of coffee, these compounds cause a stubborn odor to stay around in the mouth. Alcohol is also known to cause stinky breath since it has a potent residue that sticks to plaque. If you are looking for a beverage that will leave your breath smelling fresh, drink green tea or water.
Carry a Travel Kit
Your breath can sometimes be a dead giveaway of what you just ate for lunch, especially when you have a garlic-heavy meal. When you are away from home, it may feel impossible to get rid of the lingering smells. However, having an oral hygiene kit in your bag or car makes it simple to freshen your breath away from home. Include a travel-sized toothbrush, toothpaste, and mouthwash in your kit. Additionally, carry a pack of sugar-free gum for more convenient freshening on the go.
Replace Your Toothbrush
Toothbrushes, or toothbrush heads if you use an electric one, do not last forever! You should replace your toothbrush every three months. If you try to stretch out a toothbrush’s lifespan longer than a quarter of the year, it will become less effective at cleaning teeth and leave more plaque behind. Mark your calendar for three months after you replace your toothbrush to remind your future self to switch it out with a new one.
Dehydration is an extremely common cause of bad breath. Saliva production drastically decreases when a person is dehydrated. One of saliva’s key functions is to wash away excess food particles from the teeth. However, when this debris stays in the mouth, bacteria production heightens, causing bad breath. Adult men should try to drink 125 oz of water daily, and women should aim for at least 91 oz.
Clean Your Tongue
We are all told from an early age of the importance of brushing and flossing our teeth. However, cleaning the tongue sometimes gets left out of that conversation. There are 20 billion bacteria in the mouth at any given time, and a large amount of them cultivate on the tongue. When the tongue is not cleaned regularly, bacteria accumulate, producing a distinct stench. Use a tongue scraper twice a day to gently remove odor-producing bacteria from the tongue.
Practice Good Oral Hygiene
Daily oral care can significantly impact the smell of breath. Patients with a thorough oral hygiene routine tend to have better smelling breath than those who regularly skip brushing or flossing. When plaque and bacteria build up on the teeth, it generates a stinky smell. Brushing and flossing removes plaque and bacteria, leaving you with a clean mouth and better-smelling breath. You can also add mouthwash to your oral hygiene routine to remove additional bacteria from the oral cavity.
Visit Your Dentist Regularly
Regular dental checkups are essential to maintaining a healthy mouth. These visits give your dental provider a chance to detect any dental issues and create a plan to get your smile back to full health. Chronic bad breath can often indicate an underlying dental condition. If you are experiencing stubborn bad breath, schedule an exam as soon as possible. Your dentist can help you find the root cause of the odor.