It’s that moment, when you’re talking to someone, and they slightly turn their head away, maybe take a little step back. Their hand went up to their nose. You feel instant panic, purposefully breathe shallow, say less, and wonder, is it you? With masks, we are even more aware of the smell of our breath. Bad breath, also called halitosis, negatively affects our confidence and our self-esteem. But fresh breath, now that won’t hold you back.
90% of bad breath is the result of plaque, a perfect, sticky home for harmful bacteria to multiply up to 600x faster compared to living outside the plaque. As with all living things, bacteria eats, then “poops”, properly called a bacteria’s by-product.
1. Brush your teeth TWICE a day!
This seems easy enough. We’re always being told to brush our teeth twice a day but how many of us miss this crucial routine? You’re tired from a long day’s work or a night out. Why not miss one night? It is this thinking that builds a nasty habit. It is imperative to brush – Once in the morning, once at night. Each brushing session should go for 2-3 minutes.
|The Australian Dental Association: How to brush your teeth|
Soft-bristled toothbrushes with a small head and a flexible neck are most effective in removing plaque and debris from your teeth, without damaging your teeth and gums. Teeth should be cleaned systematically, starting at the back with the toothbrush bristle at the gum line on a 45° angle, brushing gently in a circular motion. If you scrub too hard from side to side, you run the risk of causing your gums to recede, as well as damaging the tooth enamel
Think of plaque as sticky as peanut butter. Imagine peanut butter on a butter knife, it’s sticky and resists removal. Unlike a smooth butter knife, teeth have different shapes, crevices, and can be difficult to access. There are many effective kinds of toothpaste to choose from, providing added benefits for oral health. With proper brushing techniques, you may remove a majority of odor causing debris.
2. Floss daily
Food debris trapped in between teeth and in the gum line may contain bacteria that cause an unpleasant odour. Daily flossing can help to remove the smelly odour from your mouth, while keeping your breath fresh and teeth free from unsightly food particles. Teeth are curvy, and floss is the hero, the hero that can snugly hug and curve around the teeth, for the best at home in-between the teeth cleaning.
3. Using Mouth Wash to freshen breath
Antiseptic mouthwash helps to control harmful bacteria levels. Therapeutic rinses have many purposes including: kill harmful bacteria, restore neutral ph, fluoride, desensitising, and whitening to name a few. Remember, rinses don’t replace brushing or flossing. However, it is next-level care when adding a rinse to daily brushing AND flossing. It also adds very little time to your day and replaces bad odor with fresh breath.
4. Tongue Scraping
This frequency will be different for everyone, because the tongue has a surface perfect for harboring bacteria, some more than most. Often the back of the tongue is missed, which can have high bacteria counts responsible for odors. If halitosis is a concern, don’t overlook the tongue!
A lot of modern toothbrushes account for this in their design. The back of the toothbrush will have a different texture perfect for lightly scrubbing the tongue. Another option is to brush your tongue with the toothbrush bristles. However, it must be a light brush over the tongue and done regularly. If these fail, consider purchasing the tongue scraper. These are perfect for reaching the whole tongue area.
5. Regular Professional Cleans do more than freshen breath
We recommend a professional clean with one of our dentists or hygienists at least twice a year. Nevertheless, this may vary per patient. May require a deep clean appointment every 4 months. When this is upheld, bad breath and bad bacteria is greatly diminished. You would be surprised by the results of this simple and regular procedure.
6. Drink a LOT of water
Drink your minimum 8 cups of water every day! Morning breath is usually a result of decreased saliva production while we sleep. Dry Mouth contributes to odors vs. staying hydrated can help with saliva flow, our body’s way of cleansing our mouth. Keeping a hydrated mouth can help you maintain a clean mouth!
If Bad Breath Persists…
For 10% of you, halitosis will persist even after a committed daily oral home care regimen. We recommend seeing your dentist for a comprehensive check up to determine the problem. Possible underlying causes include, but are not limited to: digestive issues, diabetes, or GERD.
With malodorous breath being a symptom of many health issues and medications, it’s important to talk to your doctor or dentist. Your body could be trying to tell you something.
If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to call us: