6 Tricks To Get Rid of Bad Breath
Few things in life are more embarrassing than being told you have bad breath. No matter how politely someone tries to tell you, "halitosis" is just as devastating to your ego as any other type of body odor. The best way to ensure this doesn't happen again is to understand why you have bad breath to begin with and what you can do to get rid of it.
What Are The Causes of Bad Breath
There are numerous reasons your breath might smell bad, but a dry mouth is the most common. This can happen if you haven't been drinking enough water, as your body will begin slowing down its saliva production. Dead cells accumulate on the surface of the tongue, emitting a foul odor as they're consumed by bacteria. A similar process occurs when you have food particles stuck to your teeth. This bacteria can build up anywhere in the mouth, which is why brushing may not be enough.
Your diet can be another reason for bad breath. The effects of tobacco, garlic, onions and coffee on a person's breath are well known. However, certain diets can also produce undesirable effects. Ultra-low carb diets (known as "keto diets") facilitate rapid weight loss by drastically cutting carbohydrates. Unfortunately, the ketones released as the body breaks down fat emit an unpleasant odor in both the urine and breath.
Not all causes for halitosis are easily preventable. Lung infections, kidney disease and diabetes are among a number of medical conditions that can also contribute. If you have any such condition, it would be best to check with your physician, regarding what you can do about bad breath. Otherwise, the suggestions mentioned here should suffice to alleviate your problem.
How To Check Your Breath
Checking your own breath is something everyone should frequently do, before someone else points out a problem. In most cases, the tongue is where bad breath begins. This is fortunate since it's not always easy to detect your own bad breath and the tongue is easy to check. Your tongue should be shiny and pink, rather than scaly and white. If you're in doubt, scrape the back of it with a spoon, let it dry for a minute or two, then smell it.
The reason this method is recommended is because cupping your hands over your mouth isn't as effective as you might think. If you don't have a spoon, you can also lick the back of your hand, let it dry, then smell the area. Other methods involve using a cotton swab or a piece of dental floss. Regardless of which method you use, they all involve smelling a sample from the tongue.
When it comes to food, the best thing to do is use common sense. If you just ate something loaded with onions or garlic, you should probably be mindful of its effect on your breath. Avoid getting too close to anyone, at least until you can do something about it.
Remedies for Bad Breath
The bad news is that there's no universal solution that can permanently fix everyone's breath problems. Keep in mind that your bad breath can be caused by something completely different, on any given day. Halitosis is an ongoing problem with many contributing factors that can only be addressed by implementing temporary fixes and good habits. As with losing weight, it's about the consistency in your daily routine. With that in mind, here are some suggestions to help control bacterial growth in your mouth.
1.) Drink more water. Bacteria builds up more quickly when your mouth is dry. The best way to keep it hydrated is to drink water regularly. This will help you produce more saliva, which in turn will slow the growth of bacteria that causes bad breath.
2.) Clean your tongue. Along with keeping your mouth hydrated, you should always remember to clean the middle and back of your tongue. Make this a regular practice, preferably after each meal. Using a tongue scraper can help reduce the concentration of sulfurous compounds that produce odors.
3.) Brush and floss daily. Although your tongue is the primary source of odor-causing bacteria, you still need to brush twice a day and floss at least once. Brushing cleans the surface areas of your teeth, while flossing takes care of anything stuck between them. Check with your dentist, if you need pointers on proper brushing and flossing.
4.) Rinse with mouthwash. It may not always be possible to brush your teeth or scrape your tongue at work. The next best solution is to rinse with mouthwash for at least 30 seconds. After rinsing, avoid eating, drinking or smoking for 30 minutes. Note that while it's better than chewing gum, it's still a temporary fix and not as effective as tongue scraping.
5.) Breath mints or strips. Lots of people carry gum or mints to help freshen their breath. While it does help some, you should remember that the effect is temporary. If you haven't been able to scrub your tongue or brush your teeth, it may be your only option. With that said, it's best to use sugar-free gum or oral strips, instead of mints. Strips dissolve faster than mints, reducing the amount of time your teeth spend in contact with sugar, which can lead to decay.
6.) Dietary changes. Certain foods are better than others at combating bad breath. For example, the anti-bacterial properties of green tea can be helpful in getting rid of odor. Cinnamon also contains essential oils that kill bacteria. You can easily add it to your toast or use a stick of it to add flavor to your tea. Chewing crisp fruits and vegetables (such as apples or celery) increases saliva production, helping keep your mouth hydrated, while also scrubbing away bacteria.
It can be very embarrassing to have others turn away when you speak. Fortunately, there are some things you can do about it. Unless you have a medical condition that's causing your bad breath, it should be fairly easy to take care of. Checking your breath regularly and maintaining better hygiene habits are usually enough to get rid of the problem.