No matter how often we brush, floss, and gargle, all of us have bad breath every now and then. For most of us, unpleasant odors emanate from our mouths in the early morning hours before we've had a chance to complete our oral hygiene routine. This morning breath is caused by food particles that get trapped in our teeth and then combine with bacteria, which results in malodor. While there is no surefire way to prevent bad breath all the time, here are five tips from your dentist that will help control it. |
1. Brush your teeth after each meal and before bed. This will help remove most of the food particles that get stuck in your teeth. It is also important to use your toothbrush for at least two minutes each session. Longer brushing times can significantly reduce your risk of cavities and gum disease.
2. Brush or scrape your tongue. It might sound and feel a bit strange, but your tongue is covered with tiny hairs (papillae) that cling to bacteria. If enough of them accumulate, they can cause malodorous exhalations. Sold in most drugstores, a tool called a tongue scraper is your best defense against an olfactory nightmare. You can also use your toothbrush to remove most of the residue that clings to your tongue.
3. Get regular checkups. Because gum disease is the most common cause of bad breath or halitosis, it is important to make regular appointments with your dentist. Not only will he or she check your mouth for dental problems, but these professionals can also recommend products and techniques that may help you manage or even solve the issue on your own. It is also important to add that bad breath is a common symptom of serious oral infections. If you experience a sudden, unexplained bout of halitosis, contact a dental professional as soon as possible.
4. Drink plenty of water. Dry mouths are even more susceptible to plaque than wet ones, since food particles stay in place and combine with bacteria. Drinking six to eight glasses of water a day should wash away most of the residue that causes bad breath. People who have chronic dry mouth should speak to their dentist before the problem causes serious dental issues. He or she may be able to recommend a safe, effective saliva substitute that increases oral moisture.
5. Stop smoking. As if you needed another reason to quit, here is a no-brainer. Smoking causes halitosis. Not only does the harmful habit dry out your mouth, resulting in accelerated bacteria accumulation and growth, but cigarettes and cigars also smell on their own. In fact, a whiff of tobacco is often enough to make non-smokers run for the hills. Moreover, there's really no way to mask the odor. Because it has a pungent, acrid scent, no mouthwash in the world can overcome the smell of smoke.
These simple tips from your dentist can help you control, even eliminate bad breath in no time.
To learn more about their options for a dentist, Rockford, IL residents should visit http://www.gentledentistrockford.com.
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