Bad breath, or halitosis, is more than just an annoyance. It can indicate a bigger problem, such as gum disease or tooth decay. If you are someone struggling with bad breath, follow these tips.
Brush your teeth twice daily
One of the most important things you can do for good oral health is to brush your teeth at least twice each day. This prevents cavities and gum disease by removing plaque from your teeth. Your dentist can help you determine the best brushing technique for your mouth. Make sure to replace your toothbrush every three to four months or sooner if the bristles become frayed.
Some toothbrushes are designed specifically for patients with arthritis or other conditions, so be sure to ask your dentist what kind would be best for you.
Floss at least once a day
You should also floss at least once every day to remove plaque and food particles that hide between the teeth and reduce the risk of bad breath. Bacteria that live in your mouth can be transferred to other parts of your body through your bloodstream when you do not floss. These bacteria can cause heart disease and stroke as well. In addition, if you do not floss, you are more likely to develop gum disease-causing your gums to pull away from your teeth leading to tooth decay, cavities, and loss of teeth. Wriggle the floss between your teeth to reach the most hidden areas between the teeth and under the gumline.
Brush your tongue
Your tongue is a breeding ground for odor-causing bacteria. When you brush your teeth, don’t forget to also brush your tongue. Bacteria like to hide in crevices and corners. The rough surface of your tongue provides the perfect hiding spot for the bacteria. If bacteria are left unchecked on your tongue, they will multiply and cause bad breath. By brushing your tongue when you brush your teeth, you help to remove these bacteria and help prevent bad breath.
Clean dentures or dental appliances
If you’ve dentures or other dental appliances, it’s important to care for them properly to make sure they don’t develop bad breath or cause any other problems. Remove and brush them daily to prevent any bacteria from building up on them. Use a denture-cleaning solution to clean them, and then rinse them off with water before putting them back into your mouth. If you have a permanent set of teeth, you should still keep them clean by brushing them every day, as well as flossing around them to help keep your whole mouth clean.
Adjust your diet
Keeping your mouth clean and healthy begins with eating a healthy diet and avoiding certain foods and drinks that can contribute to bad breath. This includes avoiding smoking and chewing tobacco. These habits can inflame your gums, causing swelling and bleeding of the gums. This can cause your breath to be especially bad. It can also stain your teeth and create a gum disease called periodontitis.
Other foods to avoid include foods that are high in sugar and starch. Bacteria in your mouth feed on sugar and create acids, which can wear away tooth enamel and cause cavities. They can also irritate your gums and contribute to plaque formation. So try to avoid drinking sugary sodas or juices and eating candy or other sweets. Instead, drink plenty of water and eat fresh fruits and vegetables as part of a healthier diet.
Schedule regular dental checkups
Visit your dentist every six months for a regular checkup and cleaning. During your visit, your oral care professional will clean your teeth and check for cavities, tooth damage, bad breath, and other oral health issues. Your mouth will feel fresher, and you will be less likely to develop gum disease and tooth decay with regular checkups and good at-home care.
To find out more about the dental services offered at Harbor Dental, call our Fort Collins dentist CO at (970) 377-2456 or schedule an online consultation. You can also visit us at 2726 Illinois Dr. #101, Fort Collins, CO 80525.