It only takes one or two people to back away from you while you speak for you to know you have bad breath. Everyone gets bad breath, or halitosis, occasionally, but it’s usually the result of consuming foods like onions and garlic that have strong odors.
However, chronic bad breath is a common problem that takes a toll on your self-esteem and your social life. Using breath mints or gargling with mouthwash will temporarily mask the odor, but what you really need is to address the underlying cause.
Here are some tips from Vienna, VA dentist Dr. Ardalan Sanati for banishing bad breath:
- Brush and floss twice a day - This should go without saying, but you can’t expect to have fresh breath if you don’t brush conscientiously. And it doesn’t hurt to add an extra brushing after you eat smelly foods. Don’t overdo it though because too much brushing can be as bad for your teeth as not brushing at all.
- When you brush, don’t forget your tongue - Most of the bacteria in your mouth live on the rough surface of your tongue. If you just brush your teeth, the bacteria that sits on your tongue will transfer to your teeth. Brushing your tongue improves your oral health because it eliminates these bacteria and helps to prevent bad breath.
- Rinse your mouth after every meal – Rinsing will refresh your mouth by flushing away food particles that remain in your mouth and cause bad breath. Rinsing also gets rid of acids and sugars in your mouth, which prevents acid from attacking your teeth and causing cavities.
- Drink plenty of water – Your bad breath may be related to dry mouth, and saliva is necessary to flush away food and bacteria. Tobacco use, stress, diabetes, cancer therapy, and the medications you take can all contribute to dry mouth. Water will keep you hydrated, and you can also try sucking on hard, sugar-free lozenges to stimulate saliva production.
- Keep up with routine exams and dental cleanings – In some cases, bad breath may be a signal that you have periodontal disease. When you come in for your scheduled exams, we can look for signs of gum infection and take steps to treat it if necessary.
If it’s time for your routine check-up, please call our Vienna, VA dentist to arrange an appointment!