Gone are the days of wondering what sensory auras your breath brings along with it—the secret to fresh breath isn’t a fancy new gum promising long-lasting flavor or a new breakthrough, “different-than-the-rest” mouthwash that feels like it’s burning your taste buds off. This no-gimmick, no-hassle method of success isn’t really a secret at all; in fact, it’s what mom and dad have instilled in you since you were a little kid, and it’s possible you’ve slacked off on in your adult life.
—at least twice daily, that is. When you’re a kid, it’s easy to follow this routine, since your parents are telling you to do so morning and night, but in our busy daily work lives, it can be easy to forget. Brush once in the morning to combat morning breath, stimulate your gums for healthy mouth bacterial management, and give your mouth a fresh start for the day, thus preventing bad breath. At night, brushing before bed clears the history of all the food and drink that may have built up a film on those pearly whites throughout the day, so you can rest your head on that pillow peacefully knowing your oral hygiene is on track.
We all know the drill (pun intended)–you go to the dentist at least once a year, only to be asked if you’ve been flossing. You reply with a muffled “uh-huh”, even though you and your hygienist both know your teeth haven’t been flossed since the last time you sat in that chair. They don’t give the advice out for nothing–do your part and take one minute out of your day to run some string through those teeth. Others will thank you for it–for your odorless-ness!
Regular Dentist Visits
The floss-dental hygienist-dynamic leads to the next point –how important it is to get your teeth cleaned regularly. While most of us operate on forgetfulness when it comes to oral health, twice-yearly is considered the gold standard for teeth-cleanings. If you want to stay on top of the odor your breath may give off–you need to make this a priority every six months. Plaque builds up on your teeth and also affects the health of your gums, which is a big cause for not only bad breath, but discoloration of the teeth.
Steer Clear of Tobacco Products
Smoking cigarettes or chewing tobacco has never gone hand in hand with good dental hygiene.That’s because both of those products contain carcinogens–and anything that has been proven to cause cancer, can’t be good for your breath. These substances essentially stain your insides with bad odor. So if you’re a user of these products, step one should actually be to discontinue their use. Tobacco products make all of the previous tips redundant.
Log the Food You Eat
We all know the classic culprits for bad breath when it comes to food and drink–there’s coffee breath, garlic breath, onion breath… the list goes on and on! If you’re having issues with bad breath and are doing all of the above but still can’t get to the bottom of it, your diet may be to blame. Keep track of things you eat in a day, that way you can rule out some things. Certain acidic foods can affect your stomach’s ecosystem, thus causing acid reflux, heartburn, and burping. Which, of course, doesn’t make for the best company in terms of breath odor. Not to mention, wine, coffee, and other dark drinks stain white teeth, so that you not only have issues with the odor of your mouth, but also a noticeable change in your smile!
Things like food allergies or sensitivities can also be to blame for stinky breath. Logging the food and drink you consume may help you recognize any issues you may have with, say for instance, dairy or gluten—common sensitivities that can also affect your breath!
Despite their basic, well-practiced utilization, these five basic rules are easy to lose track of. But if we stick to the basics and follow the advice of our parents and dentists, bad breath won’t stand a chance—practice these tips religiously in order to reap the benefits and prevent stinky breath!