No one may notice that your breath is fresh, but everyone will notice when it’s bad. Knowing that your breath is fresh helps you to feel confident in social situations.
Bad odors can be embarrassing and can even be a clue to more serious health issues. Try these simple steps to keep your breath sweet the natural way.
- Brush and floss. Most bad breath starts in your mouth due to decaying food particles and bacteria, which lead to plaque buildup. Brush after every meal and floss daily. Some toothpaste brands include antibacterial agents to fight plaque.
- Clean your tongue. Your tongue has millions of microscopic filaments that trap food and bacteria. Brush the top of your tongue every day starting at the back and working forward. Any toothbrush will do, but some have special attachments to get the job done. You can also buy a tongue scraper at most drugstores.
- Get a new toothbrush. All that bacteria gets transferred from your mouth to your toothbrush. Change it every 3 to 4 months. Stock up when they’re on sale so you’ll always have a supply on hand.
- Schedule dental checkups every 6 months. Professional cleanings will remove more plaque and tartar to reduce your risk of halitosis and gum disease. Cavities and infected areas are a breeding ground for bacteria, so it’s best to catch them promptly.
- Drink water. Drink 6 to 8 glasses of water daily. It will help keep your mouth moist and flush away food particles. Remember that alcohol and caffeine actually make your mouth drier. Even “morning breath” is primarily caused by your mouth drying out over night, especially if you sleep with your mouth open.
- Be careful with the garlic bread. You may want to continue indulging in your favorite spicy foods, but take extra care when you order curry for lunch. The pungent oils from foods like onions get carried from your bloodstream to your lungs and stay on your breath for as much as 24 hours.
- Chew sugarless gum. Chewing gum stimulates the flow of saliva. Mints are also a temporary fix, but gum is even more effective. Studies show that cinnamon is particularly helpful for decreasing the bacteria in your mouth and it’s delicious.
- Gargle with salt water or apple cider vinegar. Some mouthwashes contain alcohol, which can dry out your mouth. For a cheaper and natural remedy, make your own rinse. Gargle with plain salt water or a half-teaspoon of apple cider vinegar diluted in a glass of water.
- Brush with baking soda. Baking soda is another inexpensive and natural treatment. Buy toothpaste that contains baking soda or sprinkle it on your toothbrush straight from the box. Baking soda lowers the acidity in your mouth and makes it less friendly to bacteria.
Other Tips for Fresh Breath:
- Perform a self-test. It’s hard to tell how your own breath smells so you may be worrying about it needlessly. To check, cup your hand over your mouth, breathe out, and take a whiff of your hands. It’s also good to sniff your floss right after you pull it between your teeth. If you’re still unsure, ask someone close to you for their opinion.
- Time how much you talk. Like morning breath, talking for a long time can dry out your mouth. It’s hard to stay silent during a job interview, but you can take extra precautions to reduce odors.
Consult your doctor or dentist. In rare cases, bad breath can be a sign of more serious health conditions, including infections or diabetes. If home remedies fail to work, your doctor or dentist can recommend any additional steps needed.
Bad breath is embarrassing but easily overcome. Practice good oral hygiene and use these natural remedies to keep yourself healthy and kissable.