We all know the feeling of being burdened with another person’s morning breath...it is not pleasant! But as much as we would all love to believe we’re going about our day smelling like a walking Colgate advert - some days perhaps we are the aforementioned burden to others. How tragic!
Adequate oral hygiene is tricky because everyone is different. Many factors such as how you sleep, what you had for lunch, how long you brushed your teeth for or a lack of certain vitamins can affect the health of a person’s teeth, gums and tongue. Even if others can’t see it or smell it straight away, you may not be taking good enough care of your mouth long term.
Follow these 6 easy ways to prevent bad breath, your chompers in tip top condition and your mouth smelling minty fresh!
01. “You don’t have to brush all your teeth. Just the ones you want to keep!”
We all know that brushing our teeth twice a day is important, well at least I hope we all do (Yikes!). What people don’t often realize is that there is a specific technique to brushing one’s teeth. The front, back and top of every tooth should be lightly brushed in a circular motion. This should take about 2-3 minutes. It is really helpful to play a 2 min song or get a toothbrush with a timer to ensure you’re not missing out on crucial plague removing time. Avoid harsh, sawing movements that will damage the enamel layer on your teeth and cause gum erosion.
02. “Good things come to those who Floss”
When it comes to preventing bad breath, flossing once every day will help remove food and debris trapped between the teeth. A toothbrush is unable to reach and remove the plaque and bacteria that sits between our teeth so flossing is crucial for daily breath freshness and long term teeth and gum health. Make sure to gently push the floss down to the gumline and then hug the side of the tooth with up and down motions.
03. “Dentistry is not expensive. Neglect is.”
All experts suggest a person should see a dentist at least twice a year for a checkup. During a routine examination, a hygienist will clean one’s teeth and remove any hardened tartar and plaque. How often you’ll need a check up is determined by one’s health history and age. If one notices any changes in one’s mouth, a trip to the dentist should be made where they will check for visual signs of gum disease, cavities and other oral health issues.
04. “Keep calm and stop smoking.”
If you are a smoker and concerned about oral hygiene, it is best to quit the practice altogether. Smoking can very negatively affect the appearance of the mouth, leading to yellow teeth and tongue, as well as give breath a bad odour. Smoking also harms the immune system, making it difficult for the body to heal tissues.
05. “Easy on the sugar, Sugar!”
According to research, consuming sugar can lead to cavities. Therefore those concerned with oral hygiene should cut back on sugary foods, desserts and drinks. It has also been stated that starchy foods like bread, chips, pasta and crackers can also cause tooth decay. These foods linger in the mouth and break down into simple sugars. Acid-producing bacteria feed on these sugars and thus cause tooth decay. An alternative to starchy foods is to eat fiber-rich fruits and vegetables or one can opt for dairy products that are free from sugar.
One should also say goodbye to sugary cooldrinks and juices and opt for water or sugar-free teas instead.
06. “Protection is better than garlic breath.”
While on the go, it is quite impossible to have your toothbrush and wash basin handy all the time. So, there are a couple of ways to ensure your breath is kept fresh and clean.
- Aim to snack as little as possible throughout the day. Snacking promotes plaque acid in the mouth which leaves tooth surfaces susceptible to decay. It is important to give our teeth a break after every meal (AKA acid attack). If you must snack try opt for popcorn, cheese, milk or water.
- Keep mouthwash handy for a post meal fluoride rinse. Bad breath is sometimes linked to poor salivary flow so chewing on sugar-free gum or candy can also help get rid of bad breath. The chewing action promotes saliva production and can clear the tongue and teeth of food particles and germs.
- Remember that eating foods like garlic and onion will definitely sour the breath and cannot be solved by brushing the teeth. These substances cause bad smells that make their way into one's bloodstream and travel to your lungs where you breathe them out! Unfortunately, the only way to protect oneself is to avoid these foods completely.
- If you’re at a restaurant, chew on a sprig of parsley, basil or lemon after your meal to neutralise bad breath. Follow with a large glass of water to rinse away any leftover debris from your meal.
“Talk to your doctor about consistent bad breath.”
Although these quick fixes might cure bad breath at inconvenient times, if you are always suffering from bad breath, it might just be something more serious than an annoyance. A dentist might be able to identify the possible cause which could be anything from tooth cavities, recent dental work or even digestive problems.
Optismile at Point Mall specialises in oral hygiene and dentistry. With over 181 five-star reviews on Google and Facebook, your teeth are most certainly in the best hands! Take a look at Optismile’s website to view all we offer as well as complete your free online consultation today.