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How to improve bad breath?

Suffering from bad breath, otherwise known as halitosis, affects many people and is a common dental problem. However, there are ways in which you can improve, or even cure, your bad breath. Here are some tips we often suggest to our patients that are suffering from bad breath.  

Brushing and flossing

Bad breath can be caused by the bacteria that builds up on plaque. Food can also get trapped between teeth which can create bad breath. Plaque and food can be removed by developing an excellent oral health routine, including brushing and flossing.

You should brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes, once just before bed and at one other point during the day. You should floss at least once a day – if you are conscious of your bad breath, try increasing this to twice a day.

Use mouthwash

In addition to brushing and flossing, rinsing with an alcohol-free mouthwash with help to keep your mouth fresh for longer after cleaning. Not only does it freshen your breath, but it also adds extra protection against bacteria.

You can also rinse your mouth with water after you have eaten to remove any food particles that will lead to bad breath.

Scrape your tongue

It’s a great idea to gently brush the surfaces of your tongue every time you brush your teeth. A coating forms on your tongue and can hold onto odorous bacteria.

If your toothbrush is too big or feels too harsh, you can use a tongue scraper. These tools are designed to apply even pressure across the surface of the tongue to remove bacteria, food and dead skin cells.

Avoid strong-smelling foods

Foods such as onion and garlic are known for causing bad breath and brushing doesn’t help to relieve the smell. Studies have shown that the particles that cause the bad breath make their way into your bloodstream and travel to your lungs, meaning you are breathing out the smell.

The only way to reduce this form of bad breath is to not eat onion and garlic.

Stop smoking

Smoking is extremely bad for your oral health. It can damage your gums, stain your teeth and give you bad breath. As well as a huge list of health benefits, giving up smoking will instantly improve your breath.

If you need help quitting smoking, there is plenty of help and support available from your GP and other organisations.

Chew sugar-free gum

Chewing sugar-free gum after meals should lower the chances of you developing bad breath throughout the day. Food particles and plaque will stick to the gum, removing any odorous culprits.

Make sure you choose sugar-free gum, as bacteria feed on sugars within the mouth which can lead to tooth decay.

By using some or all of these tips, you should notice an improvement to the smell of your breath. If you are still suffering from bad breath, book an appointment with your dentist. They will be able to check over your mouth for any underlying issues or give you further advice.


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