Do you know the old saying “an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure?” If you worry about bad breath there are a few simple remedies you can try. Bad breath smells unpleasant and can make people you’re talking to stand at a distance. You might feel embarrassed to even open your mouth near anyone. It can also be a sign that something could be going on with your teeth, gums or health. Although practicing social distancing can prevent you from the embarrassment of having bad breath, you can use our tips to get rid of your bad breath in the meantime.

Young woman enjoying the fresh air

1. Brush and Floss

The bacteria that build up on our teeth are often the cause of bad breath. By simply taking good care of your teeth and gums, you may eliminate the cause of your bad breath. You should brush at least twice a day and floss once per day. Choosing the right toothbrush can also help you more effectively clean your teeth.

2. Clean Your Tongue

Food debris, bacteria, and dead cells can build up on the rough surface of your tongue and cause your breath to smell unpleasant. Use your toothbrush or a tongue cleaner to scrub it off. This will help you maintain a healthy oral microbiome.

3. Drink Plenty of Water

Keeping yourself hydrated allows you to increase your saliva production. The more hydrated you are, the more bacteria that can wash away in your mouth.

4. Rinse Your Mouth After Every Meal and Drink

Acidic drinks like soda, coffee, and alcohol can lower the PH level in your mouth allowing bacteria to thrive and release rotten smelling sulfur compounds. On the other hand, food can get stuck between your teeth and cause foul smelling odor. Rinsing your mouth with water after every meal or flavored drink can wash away bacteria and food particles that cause bad breath.

5. Watch What You Eat

Most people know that onions and garlic cause bad breath, but there are some lesser known bad breath culprits out there. One is meat. Chewed up meat particles are sticky and hard to rinse away after eating. They can worm their way deeply between teeth or under dentures, crowns or bridges. If you’re on a low carb diet, your bad breath could be caused by something known as ketosis. Ketosis is a metabolic state in which your body is burning fat instead of sugar. It’s great for the waistline, not so great for your breath.

6. Consume Some Greens

Green plants are loaded with chlorophyll. It’s what makes them green. Parsley, mint and cilantro are all great choices. They release scented oils when you chew them, giving your breath an immediate freshener. The chlorophyll you ingest gives you the longer term cure.

7. Eat Sweet or Crunchy

apple sliced circular

Sweet fruits that are high in vitamin C help eliminate bad breath because the bacteria in your mouth don’t like it – it will begin to die. Eating crunchy fruits and vegetables like apples, carrots or celery will help scrub lingering food particles off your teeth and keep your breath fresh.

8. Don’t Try to Mask It

Just the same as with other bad odors like body odors, making the odor is only effective for a short time. It’s much better to tackle the cause to eliminate bad breath for good.

9. Quit Smoking

Cigarettes are full of gross smelling chemicals, and smoking can cause oral infections and diseases that contribute to bad breath. Smoking marijuana can also impact your oral health and cause bad breath.

10. Visit Your Dentist

No matter how diligently you brush and floss, it’s almost impossible to keep your teeth free from plaque and tartar build-up without professional help. Schedule a twice-yearly dental check-up to have your teeth cleaned and checked for decay and other oral health problems.

Bad breath is often a sign of gum disease. Bleeding, sensitive gums are another sign. When bacteria are left sitting in your mouth, it can cause infection in your gums, leading to gum disease. When these bacteria go untreated, it can affect your heart health. If you are experiencing these symptoms, please see your dentist in Los Gatos by calling (408) 354-5600.