Today we’re going to touch on a sensitive and embarrassing subject: bad breath. Bad breath can ruin a date, a business meeting, and ultimately confidence. But it doesn’t have to be that way! Here are our tips for preventing and stopping by breath before it stops you.
Regular Dental Checkups and Cleaning
First and foremost be sure to keep up with regular cleanings and checkups from your dentist. You should be going at least every 6 months for a proper cleaning. And thanks to “daily deal” sites, you can get a cleaning, x-rays, and an exam for less than $100 -even if you don’t have health insurance.
Check For Tonsil Stones
Tonsil stones are sneaky culprits for bad breath. Sometimes you can see them, but they are often deeply lodged in your tonsils, unseen by the naked eye. Tonsil stones are a build up of bacteria, food, mucus and debris that calcify and get caught in the crevices and crypts of your tonsils. If you notice your mouth tastes bad even after you’ve brushed, scraped your tongue, and flossed, it may be tonsil stones.
To check for tonsil stones, use a magnifying mirror and a flashlight (the light on your iphone also works well for this), using a sterile object such as a qtip or tonsil stone remover tool, gently press on your tonsils and examine the crevices. If you indeed have tonsil stones, as you manipulate the area and move things around they will begin to pop out. Yes, it is really gross and they smell awful, so be prepared. But thankfully after you remove them, your breath will likely improve. Tonsil stones have a tendency to return, so we recommend gargling daily with salt water or apple cider vinegar and getting a lighted tonsil removing tool to keep them at bay. If your stones are persistently bad, you may want to consider getting your tonsils removed all together.
Proper Daily Dental Hygiene
Yes, Captain Obvious reporting here, but proper daily dental hygiene is a must. Brushing once a day is not enough! (Yes, we’ve met people who only brush once a day). Brush after each meal or at least twice a day (once in the morning, once before bed.) It’s also a good idea to brush after drinking coffee or eating bad breath inducing foods like candy, garlic, tuna, and onion. You should also be flossing every day at night to remove plaque and left over food. Also, invest in a quality toothbrush. Which brings us to…
Get a Sonicare / Electric Toothbrush
Everyone should be using an electric tooth brush. Seriously, electric toothbrushes make your mouth feel like you went to the dentist everyday. Invest in a Sonicare or Oral B electric toothbrush asap. They’re only about $40 and will make a tremendous difference in the cleanliness of your teeth.
Brush Your Tongue
Get a tongue brush/scraper to remove debris and plaque from your tongue. Keeping your tongue clean will greatly improve your breath immediately! A lot of bacteria builds up on the tongue so it’s important to make sure you scrape it morning and night.
Bad breath can stem from poor nutrition. It’s important to eat a balanced diet with plenty of fruit and veggies. Diets high in fat, red meat, sugar, and processed foods are breeding grounds for halitosis. Include citrus fruits, apples, parsley, and yogurt in your diet to fend off bad breath and balance your digestive system. Probiotics and yogurt is especially good for balancing bacteria in the digestive tract. Other breath busting foods include carrots, celery, coriander, spearmint, tarragon, eucalyptus, rosemary, and cardamom.
Drink Lemon Water
Dehydration is often a culprit behind bad breath. Stay hydrated and freshen up your breath by adding lemon to your water. This is also a great way to freshen up your breath when you’re out. If your breath is feeling less than fresh, ask the waiter or bartender for a wedge of lemon and suck on it or squeeze the juice into some water. But go easy on sucking on lemons -consumed too often you can damage your tooth enamel.
Activated charcoal is excellent for absorbing toxins. The same way it pulls gunk from your pores, it will pull gunk from your mouth as well. Apply a bit to your toothbrush and gently gargle and swish around in your mouth. However, activated charcoal is somewhat abrasive, so be sure to be gentle and not brush too hard.
Thera Breath or BreathRx
Both of these product lines are doctor recommended and were developed specifically for clinical halitosis. The product lines include toothpaste, mouth wash, and on-the-go sprays. Both brands work incredibly well for knocking out bad breath. We keep products from these lines on hand to eliminate our breath challenges when we’ve had too much coffee or garlic. These products work when nothing else does. If you have tried everything to eliminate bad breath to no avail, give Thera Breath or BreathRx a shot.
Chlorophyll also known as “internal deodorant” is a naturally occurring supplement that is found in algae, vegetables, and plants. Many people swear by it for cleansing the body and purging toxins.
See a Doctor
If your bad breath is persistent, you may have an underlying medical condition. See a doctor to rule out health issues if your bad breath does not go away after trying these solutions.