More than 80 million people worldwide suffer from chronic halitosis, the scientific term for bad breath. While many are quick to blame stinky foods or strong drinks for bad breath, the condition most often originates from the tongue and gums.
Despite how common it is, bad breath can be extremely embarrassing. Luckily, there are a number of ways to both treat and prevent bad breath. The following tips can help fight bad breath as well as improve your overall mouth health.
1. Suck on a mint
Sugarless mints, especially those containing xylitol, are good for your oral health while keeping breath fresh. 4ever Mints are a revolutionary new approach—a 3-hour breath mint that fights bad breath. They can help keep your breath fresh and your mouth healthy all day long!
2. Scrape your tongue
Our tongues need extra care to stay healthy, too! Invest in an inexpensive tool called a tongue scraper; tongue scrapers help to remove buildup between the folds of the tongue and around taste buds. Many toothbrushes also come with a textured pad on the back of the brush head which can be used to clean the tongue.
3. Stay hydrated
Drinking six to eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day can help reduce bad breath. In addition to preventing dry mouth, a common cause of bad breath, drinking water washes away leftover food particles and bacteria. For those with dry mouth due to side effects from medication, your doctor may be able to recommend a saliva substitute.
4. Munch on crunchy snacks
Celery sticks, baby carrots, or apple slices are fresh, crunchy, and healthy snacks that can improve your oral – and overall – health. Fresh, crunchy foods eliminate bad breath in two ways. First, they increase saliva production which can help remove bad bacteria from the mouth. Second, they prevent bad breath from having an empty stomach; hunger or fasting can cause bad breath as acid in the stomach builds up.
5. Brush at least twice a day
Brush teeth after meals for between two and three minutes; this removes plaque and food debris which can cause bad breath. Brush after breakfast for maximum effect in the morning, and before bed to prevent bad bacteria from sitting in your mouth overnight. For persistent bad breath, add a third brushing with baking soda instead of toothpaste; this reduces acidity in the mouth and can prevent bad breath causing bacteria from growing.