Bad breath is not a good thing. Halitosis, as it’s known medically, is unpleasant when it’s affecting the person next to you, and embarrassing when you’re the one with the problem. When it’s the other guy all you can do is offer a piece of gum and try to move away, but when it’s you, you’ll want to take control and make it stop. Here’s how to do that:
- Practice good dental hygiene. Visit the dentist regularly and get professional teeth cleanings. Brush your teeth twice every day and floss to get rid of food particles and bacteria that stick to your teeth. Also brush your tongue to get rid of smelly bacteria. Make sure that dentures and other dental appliances fit right, to avoid food getting stuck, and clean them regularly. Rinse with an antibacterial mouthwash to prevent bad breath, rather than one that will just temporarily mask bad odors. It’s also important to replace your toothbrush every 2-3 months or after and illness like strep throat, since bacteria thrive in the wet environment of your toothbrush bristles.
- Watch what you eat. Eat a balanced diet and regular meals. Fasting and certain low-carb diets can give you bad breath. Snack on raw fruit to help wash away bad smells, and avoid smelly foods like onions and garlic, and spices. Of course you’ll want the smelly foods sometimes, so enjoy them, and then chew on cloves, fennel seeds, parsley, mint, or citrus peels, which all have properties that remove odors.
- Don’t smoke or chew tobacco.
- Have a check-up with your doctor to rule out potential health problems. Many health related causes of bad breath are easily treatable.
- Make sure to drink lots of water throughout the day. This will help keep your breath fresh by washing away food particles and bacteria that can get smelly. Chewing on (preferably sugarless) gum also helps by keeping the saliva flowing.