Although it’s part of being human, none of us wants to be caught with bad breath. Bad breath, also known as halitosis, is one of the most common dental problems. It happens to us all.
We can’t always be chewing breath freshening gum or popping a mint. Besides, those are temporary solutions.
Tiny pieces of food can be left behind. This can happen even after you brush your teeth. You probably brush before going to sleep. Then why do you wake up with the awful morning breath? It’s because bacteria grows in the mouth overnight. That bacteria is responsible for bad breath.
Bacteria does more than produce morning breath. It can eat tooth enamel, which can lead to cavities and decay. Bacteria can also be responsible for a gum disease called gingivitis. This can cause gums to bleed, hurt and become swollen.
It’s a domino effect. The gum can loosen around the teeth. This leads to more bad breath as bacteria has more places to hide.
So what’s the trick to fresh breath? Simple: take care of your teeth. Here are 7 ways to take good care of your teeth.
- Visit the dentist regularly. Regular dental cleaning can prevent oral cancer, gum disease, and catch problems early.
- Brush your teeth at least twice a day. Aim to brush in the morning and at night before you go to bed.
- Use a powered toothbrush. Look for one that has the American Dental Association seal of approval. Studies have shown that electric toothbrushes with rotating and back-and-forth movement clean more efficiently than static and some types of powered toothbrushes.
- Ensure you brush properly. Brush all surfaces of the teeth at a 45-degree angle, not at a direct, head-on angle.
- Brush your tongue. Your tongue can’t get cavities, but it can get plaque and bacteria.
- Replace your toothbrush regularly. The general recommendation is to replace the brush head or toothbrush every three to four months. A good way to remember is to replace it when the new season begins.
- Floss once a day. The type of floss isn’t important. It helps remove pieces in tight spots where a toothbrush can’t.
Chronic bad breath can also be a sign of a serious problem. Be sure to talk to your dentist about it.
While you can’t get rid of bad breath 100 percent, you can minimize it with good oral care. If you’re not sure how to properly floss your teeth or brush, ask your dental hygienist for advice.